JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV/AP) – Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves received the coronavirus vaccine Wednesday on a video streamed to Facebook Live. The Republican governor said he wanted to take the vaccine publicly to demonstrate his “confidence in its safety and efficacy.”
“We’ve heard from a lot of Mississippians who are concerned about taking the vaccine and what we’ve tried to do, over the last several weeks, is remove roadblocks,” Reeves said, standing in the governor’s mansion in Jackson with State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs.
Reeves, 46, said he doesn’t want there to be any doubt that he supports the vaccine.
“We’ve heard, ‘If the governor won’t take it, I won’t take it,’” Reeves said. “The reality is, it’s time.”
Wearing a face covering depicting the American flag, Reeves sat in a chair while a nurse administered the shot. He did not say what type of vaccine he received — Pfizer’s, developed with Germany’s BioNTech, or Moderna, developed with U.S. National Institutes of Health.
As of Wednesday, the coronavirus vaccine is available in Mississippi for health care workers, people living in long-term care facilities, those 65 and older and individuals with health conditions.
“I’m not a great patient, and so I don’t love shots,” he joked. “But I know that this is the thing to do, and it’s going to help protect me, but also help protect our loved ones.”
Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Mike Chaney received the vaccine on Tuesday.
The state Health Department reported Wednesday that Mississippi had 1,942 new confirmed cases of the virus as of Tuesday evening. The department also reported 31 deaths Wednesday. The state has reported nearly 243,899 cases of the virus and 5,315 related deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Dobbs said the virus is still taking the lives of many Mississippians. He said during a media briefing Tuesday that he had lost several friends in the past week because of coronavirus complications.
Video Courtesy: Gov. Tate Reeves Facebook page
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