Mississippi Opens COVID Vaccine Eligibility

After President Joe Biden’s claim on Tuesday, March 2nd, that all adults will be able to receive a vaccine by the end of May, Mississippi has officially opened the vaccine eligibility to everyone starting Tuesday, March 16th.


Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves wrote on Twitter:


It is important to note that children are not included in the phrase “all Mississippians” as there has not been an approved vaccine for children yet in the United States, meaning that this statement only applies to adults.


Mississippi is the second state to open eligibility. The first was Alaska - the state opened the vaccination to those who are 16 or older and lives or works in the state. As of Sunday, March 14th, about 20 percent of Mississippians have received at least one shot, and 11 percent have been fully vaccinated. (Source: New York Times)


Other states are following these early drops in restrictions on who can receive the vaccine. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan has said that her state will drop its restrictions on eligibility by April 5th, which is about a month before Biden’s deadline of May 1st.


According to the New York Times, officials in Washington, D.C. said on Monday that they would allow anyone 16 or older who lives in the city to be vaccinated.


In New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday, March 15th, that there will be three new mass vaccination sites on Long Island at the end of the week. The sites include college campuses in Old Westbury, Brentwood, and Southampton.


Also according to the New York Times, experts have estimated that 70 to 90 percent of the population needs to have resistance to the coronavirus to reach ‘herd immunity’ - this is when the spread of the virus slows due to enough people being protected through infection or vaccination.


Below is a projection of the share of the total population with at least one shot based on the current rate of vaccination. It could be an indication of when the virus’s spread could begin to level.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

If the country keeps its current pace of vaccinating people, about half the population would be at least partially vaccinated (have their first shot) around mid-May, and nearly all around August. This is assuming that the supply of vaccines is met and that they are available to children. (Source: New York Times)


As more shots are being administered, keep in mind to make the appointment for the second dose in a timely manner. For the Pfizer-BioNTech, the second dose should be 3 weeks after, and for the Moderna vaccine, it should be about a month after.

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