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Elderly residents eager to get vaccinated

Elderly residents in the community are eager to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

For Brookhaven resident Joy Ann Pickering, receiving the vaccine is very important. Pickering, 80, had called around several doctor’s offices to inquire about the vaccine but had no luck.

“We have a hard time trying to find anything out,” Pickering said. “I called around and asked multiple places. None of the doctor’s offices had it and didn’t know when they would get it.”

A friend of hers living in Louisiana was able to receive the vaccine already. Pickering continued digging and found out that cities around Brookhaven had the vaccine, but Brookhaven itself did not.

Once she read about the vaccine, Pickering wanted to protect herself by getting vaccinated. She called the COVID-19 hotline through the Mississippi Department of Health but had difficulty getting through.

“It took forever to get through,” Pickering said. “But I finally got through on the helpline.”

Pickering has an appointment in McComb on Wednesday is excited about receiving the vaccine.

“I’ll feel safer,” Pickering said. “A lot of people have already taken it. I feel safe taking it.”

Pickering is also on the waitlist for Meadville Medical Center. She said the hospital there is vaccinating individuals according to age.

“They haven’t called me yet, so I’ll probably be taking it in McComb,” Pickering said.

Pickering is receiving the vaccine because she does not want to risk catching the virus.

“I don’t want to have COVID-19,” Pickering said. “I have a niece in California that’s 50 and she’s been on the ventilator for 31 days. Yesterday they told the family there’s not much hope of her coming off of it.”

For Pickering, the virus could be fatal.

“I’m afraid of it. I’ve taken it seriously since it began,” Pickering said. “I think people should be as careful as they can and they’re not in Brookhaven. I see so many people who are not taking this thing serious.”

She hopes people will protect themselves and make good decisions.

“I just hope that everyone will stay safe and will do what they need to do to protect themselves and others,” Pickering said. “Even if it helps a little, wearing a mask is a small thing.”