Mississippi COVID Vaccine Rates up 107 Percent Amid Delta Variant Fears

COVID vaccine rates have shot up in the state of Mississippi in recent weeks as the state's healthcare network struggles to cope with new patients.

Mississippi reported the lowest number of vaccine doses administered per 100,000 people out of all the states in the U.S., CDC data showed as of August 10.

Just over 75,000 shots per 100,000 people have been given in the state, compared with nearly 141,000 in Vermont—which has the highest figure.

Overall Mississippi has fully vaccinated 44.7 percent of its adult population, according to data analysis by The New York Times. For the U.S. as a whole, this figure is 61.2 percent.

But although Mississippi still lags behind other states at the moment, its rate has increased by 107 percent over the past month, according to local news outlet Mississippi Today.

The outlet states that medical experts have been urging Mississippians to get a shot as hospitals there are straining to care for mostly unvaccinated COVID patients.

Hospitalization rates have shot up in the state through the month of July. Mississippi State Department of Health data as of August 9 shows 1,410 patients were hospitalized with a confirmed COVID infection on that date, with 371 in an ICU and 234 on ventilators.

This is up from 956 hospitalized COVID patients as of August 1, with 262 of them in an ICU and 122 on ventilators.

The vast majority of the state's hospitalizations and deaths between July 9 and August 5, 89 and 82 percent respectively, were among the unvaccinated, according to data shared by Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the state health officer, via Twitter on August 8.

At the same time, vaccination rates have risen. Health department data as of August 10 shows there had been 2,284,570 total doses administered in the state and weekly vaccine data clearly shows an increasing trend.

Some 61,822 people got a shot in the week ending August 7, compared with 20,008 in the week ending July 10.

Tate Reeves, governor of Mississippi, said in a tweet on August 9 that data from Mississippi showed the Delta variant was becoming a "'pandemic of the unvaccinated'" and wrote: "Talk to your doctor. Assess the risk. Do the right thing for you. Do the right thing for your family."

And Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor of the University of Mississippi Medical Center, posted an image on Twitter on Tuesday encouraging people to get vaccinated.

It read: "Get your vaccine. It's safe and effective. It could literally save your life.

"Wear a mask. Masks are still important to curb spread, especially with a raging Delta variant."

Vaccination demand has also climbed in the state of Missouri.

Health workers
Health workers are pictured at a pop-up COVID vaccination clinic in Leland, Mississippi, on April 29, 2021. The state has seen an increase in vaccinations as hospitalizations rise. Spencer Platt/Getty