4/9/21 - Conversation with State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs | Migrant Works Pleas for Protection
Overall coronavirus cases are trending down. Vaccine rollout is now in its fifth month. We talk to the State Health Officer about how Mississippi is faring in its year long fight against COVID-19.
Plus, migrant workers profoundly affected by the ICE raid of 2019, are calling on action from the Biden Administration.
Vaccines for COVID-19 have been available to all Mississippi residents 18 and over for more than three weeks now, but the effort to educate and encourage vaccination has been a five month endeavor for the Department of Health. Still, despite being one of only a few states to offer widen availability, the rate of Mississippians receiving at least one dose is below the national average. About one in every four Mississippi residents have gotten one shot - a rate that falls eight points below the national average of 33 percent.
State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says hesitancy and access have been the two most significant challenges in getting the state to the roughly 80 percent rate needed to reach a level of herb immunity. In part one of our conversation, we discuss vaccine hesitancy, access, the question of booster shots.
During the winter wave of coronavirus cases and deaths, residents in long term care facilities were especially hard-hit. The number of outbreaks in those facilities reached their highest points in January, right when vaccine distribution began in the state. Now, three months later, outbreaks and deaths within that group has declined significantly. We pick up our conversation with State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs discussing the vaccine effort in long term care facilities, and how a recent health grant from the CDC can help Mississippi continue it's fight against COVID-19.
Advocates for immigrant workers in Mississippi are calling on the Biden administration to overturn policies that target undocumented immigrant communities. They say the President can start by protecting those affected by the 2019 ICE raids. Yesterday, those advocates gathered outside the Department of Labor's capital city office to deliver a letter to the Wage and Hour Division, urging the Biden administration to create protections for immigrant workers