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30K new vaccine appointments already booked

(AP) — There were no more new appointments left Tuesday to get the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine in Mississippi, two hours after Gov. Tate Reeves announced 30,000 new appointments were going live.

“Please act quickly to schedule for yourself or a loved one who qualifies!” the Republican governor tweeted.

Coronavirus inoculations in Mississippi are being done at hospitals, community health centers, private clinics and at 21 state-run drive-thru sites. The appointments Reeves was tweeting about Tuesday were at the drive-thru sites.

Vaccinations in Mississippi are currently available for people 65 and older, health care workers and those who are at least 16 and have health conditions that might make them more vulnerable to the virus.

Appointments have been filling up quickly due to high demand. Reeves announced Friday on Twitter that 15,000 new appointments had come free, and they were also all booked within two hours.

Mississippi has received approximately 37,000 doses of the vaccine a week from the federal government for the last three weeks. That vaccine is then split among the drive-thru sites, clinics and other health care providers.

State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said Department of Health officials were told last week by the federal government to expect a 16% increase over the next few weeks. Dobbs said they hoped to use the increases to bump up the number of vaccine doses given at its drive-thru sites.

Around 217,000 residents in Mississippi had received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine as of Monday, according to the Department of Health.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.