There are several available opportunities for residents of Carroll and Montgomery counties to get the COVID-19 vaccine, and a local physician is urging everyone over the age of 16 to get vaccinated.
In Carroll County, Mallory Community Health Center of Lexington will be giving vaccines tomorrow, April 29, at the Carroll County Recreational Park in North Carrollton. Appointments are not necessary for Friday’s inoculations.
In Montgomery County, appointments are still available to get the first dose of the vaccination on May 11 at the Montgomery County Coliseum, with the second dose scheduled for June 8. This drive-thru event is sponsored by Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospital and the City of Winona.
In addition, first doses will be administered at the Montgomery County Coliseum on May 18, May 25, and June 1, with second doses given on June 15, June 22, and June 29.
Those interested in getting the COVID-19 vaccine on any of these dates may make an appointment online through the Mississippi Department of Health at https://covidvaccine.umc.edu/.
Dr. Keith Rushing, a physician with Tyler Holmes Memorial Hospital, is urging citizens of Carroll and Montgomery counties to get the vaccine, especially with local vaccination sites available.
“This vaccine is important because we don’t have a medical cure for COVID and no great treatments,” Rushing said. “COVID-19 interferes with our lives with quarantines and mask requirements, and the only way to get back to our lives is with the vaccine.
Rushing explained that while there is the potential to become infected with the COVID-19 virus after vaccinated, Rushing said those cases have proven to be less severe and they are less likely to spread the virus to others. The vaccine will prevent those infected from succumbing to the illness.
“Statistically, the vaccines are all very effective,” Rushing said. “You may still potentially get the virus, however, you won’t be as likely to die from the virus.”
As for variants of the virus around the globe, Rushing said recorded variants aren’t more deadly than the original strain of COVID-19, however, they are more contagious and can infect more people more rapidly. He said for places like Carroll and Montgomery counties, where total COVID-19 case equal 1,215 and 1,261 respectively, if a variant is introduced, it could lead to a severe surge of positive cases.
“Even as we get toward herd immunity, new strains will be introduced,” Rushing said. “With the number of people who have not been vaccinated, those new strains could hit the area hard. That is why getting as many people vaccinated in our community is so important.”
Rushing said for those preparing to get the vaccine, it is administered in two doses, 28 days apart. He said for those receiving the first dose, side effects are mild or non-existent for most people. The second dose is more likely to carry side mild to moderate side effects for around 24 hours after receiving the shot, more specifically symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, fatigue, headache, achiness, and low-grade fever.