Reeves: Teachers, first responders to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations in March

Teachers and first responders will soon be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in Mississippi, Gov. Tate Reeves announced Tuesday.

Reeves said those groups will be able to receive the shots beginning Monday. Tens of thousands of open appointments are expected to be added to the state’s scheduling system in the coming days to accommodate the expansion, he said.

Larger vaccine shipments are also expected to come to Mississippi over the next few weeks. The Biden administration announced Tuesday that weekly vaccine shipments from the federal government will be increased to 14.5 million, the second time in two weeks the allotment has gone up.

President Joe Biden suggested during a CNN town hall on Feb. 16 that he wants shots to be available for all Americans by the end of July.

Cases decreasing across the state

According to data from the Mississippi State Department of Health, new confirmed coronavirus cases reported daily have dropped to levels not seen since mid-September.

The state’s vaccination efforts were drastically reduced last week due to the winter storm systems that paralyzed the state. Only a handful of the state’s drive-thru vaccination sites were open as officials contended with icy roads and frozen water systems. In all, only 32,540 shots were administered during the week of the storms, down more than 74,000 from the week prior.

As of Tuesday, health department data show that more than 500,000 people have begun or completed the vaccination process in Mississippi.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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