Persons 50-and-over now eligible for COVID 19 vaccine


The number of cases of COVID-19 in Kemper County has increased by 14 this past week, according to statistics provided by the Mississippi Department of Health website.

Kemper County has 915 reported cases as of Monday, an increase of 14 in the past week. The county has 23 reported deaths.

Beginning this week, those eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccination in Mississippi will now include all persons 50 years of age and older.

To date, 94 percent of COVID-19 related deaths (6,381) and 80 percent (7,342) of COVID-19 related hospitalizations in Mississippi have been among those 50 and older.

“So far, about 350,000 persons aged 50 years and older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine in the state. We are expanding our eligibility to this age group to increase the access to vaccination in this vulnerable population and prevent hospitalizations and deaths,” said MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers.

The modified eligibility criteria for COVID-19 vaccine in Mississippi are as follows:

All persons aged 50 years and older.

All teachers/staff/employees in K-12, preschool or childcare settings.

All first responders (including law enforcement, public safety, fire services and emergency management officials)

All healthcare personnel.

Persons aged 16-49 years with underlying medical conditions, as follows: cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), Down syndrome, heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies), immunocompromised from solid organ transplant, obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2) or severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2), pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking, diabetes, or other medical conditions determined by the medical provider.

To register for an appointment at a Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) drive-through site, visit or call the MSDH COVID-19 Hotline at 1-877-978-6453 for additional assistance.

Follow MSDH by e-mail and social media at

Local residents are reminded that the Kemper County board of supervisors has extended its county-wide mask mandate through April 5.

The mandate was first passed last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been extended each month by the board. It requires that masks be worn in public. Anyone who violates the ordinance, upon conviction, could face a $500 fine and/or six months in jail.

Mississippians are strongly encouraged to wear a mask, social distance, avoid large gatherings, and wash hands frequently. Vaccination is also encouraged for those who are eligible. Current eligibility includes Mississippi residents or those who work in Mississippi ages 65 and older, or those 16-64 with certain underlying conditions, healthcare personnel, and residents of long term care facilities.

The rate of the number of new cases has decreased across the state this past week. According to health department numbers, there were 2,687 new cases reported in Mississippi in the past week. There have been 297,681 cases reported in Mississippi since March 2020, and 6,808 reported deaths, an increase of 127 since last week.

The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) advises Mississippians to please be patient in the coming days if there is a longer than usual wait time at our drive-through vaccination sites.

 `            Please arrive for your vaccination appointment 15 minutes early, and please keep to your assigned appointment time.


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