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4/19/21 - J&J Pause & Effects Monitoring | Vaccinating Rural Communities | Your Vote, Your Voice: Part 4

With the Johnson & Johnson vaccine still on pause, health officials examine vaccination rates and the hesitancy factor.

Then, from the Gulf States Newsroom, how partnerships with community health centers are reaching rural residents in the region.

Plus, in part four of You Vote, Your Voice, we explore how those with felony convictions lose access to the ballot.

Segment 1:

The vaccination in Mississippi continues despite an unexpected bump in the road. Last week the state put a pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in accordance to CDC guidelines after a small number of rare blot clots were attributed to the shot. State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, in a roundtable with leaders of the Mississippi Medical Association, called the decision wise.

The pause raised two immediate questions - how will distribution be affected and will hesitancy in ALL vaccines grow. Dr. Dobbs says some logistical adjustments are being made to compensate for the temporary sidelining of the J&J, but doesn't think long-term goals will be affected.

Segment 2:

About two in five Americans live in rural areas across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Many of these residents are people of color, low-income and uninsured – communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Biden Administration has given billions in funding to community health centers in its mission to get vaccines to those populations. But for much of the rollout, these providers were underutilized. From the Gulf States Newsroom, Shalina Chatlani reports.

Segment 3:

In thirty-seven states, those who lose their right to vote due to felony convictions, have those rights restored immediately upon release. That, however, is not the case in the Magnolia State where it is estimated that ten percent of potential voters have lost access to the ballot. In Mississippi, a conviction of any of twenty-three felonies results in permanent disenfranchisement. We talk to Nshombi Lambright, Executive Director of One Voice Mississippi and Pauline Rogers of RECH Foundation about the challenges of disenfranchisement.


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5/14/2021

5/14/21 - Adolescents Get Vaccinated | Freedom Rides, 60 Years Later | 1970 JSU Class Finally Walks

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5/13/2021

5/13/21 - New Adolescent Group Now Vaccine-eligible | Hesitancy in Rural MS | ACA Special Enrollment

A leading pediatrician responds to the approval of the Pfizer vaccine for 12 to 15 year olds.Then, with vaccination rates declining statewide, we examine hesitancy in a rural, majority white community.Plus, we hear from the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health on the special enrollment period for health coverage though the ACA marketplace.Segment 1:Parents in Mississippi can begin scheduling a coronavirus vaccination for children age 12 to 15.The Pfizer coronavirus vaccine has received emergency use authorization from the FDA, and has now gained approval by the CDC for use in the adolescent age group.The decision comes at a time of declining vaccination rates in Mississippi.Health officials say around a quarter of the state's nearly three million residents are under the age of 16.Dr. Anita Henderson is President of the Mississippi Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She tells our Kobee Vance the authorization means clinics and hospitals already offering the Pfizer shot can begin vaccinating eligible children now.Segment 2:Mississippi, along with Louisiana and Alabama, have the lowest coronavirus vaccination rates in the country. That’s according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Gulf States Newsroom health reporter Shalina Chatlani has been following this story and traveled to North Mississippi to ask people why they were against the shot. She’s joining me today to talk about some of those conversations.Segment 3:The White House is celebrating a public health milestone this week.New enrollment for health coverage during a special period made possible through President Biden's American Rescue Plan has topped one million Americans.The legislation also lowered premiums for nine million Americans who buy their coverage through the Affordable Care Act, and also reduced deductibles by nearly 90 percent.Dr. Rachel Levine is the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health.She tells our Michael Guidry the special enrollment period is one step in the administration's goal of making health care a right - not a privilege.