JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – WJTV 12 News hosted an exclusive live Town Hall discussion, “Mississippi Town Hall: The Road to Normal,” on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.
The event featured Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves and members of his administration, including State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs and Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) Executive Director Stephen McCraney.
Leaders discussed several topics, including the “pause” of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
The CDC and the FDA said Tuesday they were investigating unusual clots that occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. The clots occurred in veins that drain blood from the brain and occurred together with low platelets. All six cases were in women between the ages of 18 and 48; there was one death and all remained under investigation.
Dobbs said none of the six cases was in Mississippi.
As for vaccination rates in Mississippi, Reeves said, “I think if you’re going to look at total vaccinations, you ought to look at total vaccinations. So far in Mississippi, we’ve fully vaccinated about 635,000 Mississippians as through close of business yesterday. We’ve had 893,000 Mississippians have gotten at least their first shot.”
The Mississippi National Guard has provided COVID-19 distribution help in urban areas in the state. McCraney was asked about how the Guard could help in rural areas.
“The adjutant general said he’s definitely open to it. We still have the ability to bring on more National Guardsmen if we need to,” he stated.
There have been efforts to vaccinate children. Both Reeves and Dobbs said children should be vaccinated against the virus.
While Mississippi is still dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, the governor said he is still against Medicaid expansion in the state.
Dobbs was asked whether the COVID-19 vaccine would become an annual vaccine like the flu shot. He said, “I don’t really think so. A lot of it really has to do with the biology of the coronavirus. It’s very different. It doesn’t mutate in the same way as the coronavirus.”