HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - For the second time in five weeks, the C.E. Roy Community Center in Hattiesburg will be the site for free COVID-19 vaccinations.
The City of Hattiesburg, Forrest General and Hattiesburg Clinic will host a second, two-day vaccination clinic Saturday and Sunday.
The center is located at 300 E. 5th St., and the walk-in clinic will provide 250 vaccinations from 9 a.m. to noon both days.
This second vaccination opportunity will feature the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine on a first-come, first served basis.
No appointment is necessary and there will be no cost to the patient.
Eligibility for this vaccine includes all Mississippians who are age 16 and over, but anyone receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine must be 18 or older.
However, the community is encouraged to prioritize this event for those in under-served areas and for those who may not have access to book an appointment through the technology used by other vaccination sites.
“The work to remove barriers for under-served populations to access life-saving COVID vaccines is critical toward bringing this pandemic to an end,” Hattiesburg Mayor Toby Barker said. “We are fortunate to have strong partnerships with all of our health care partners. These partnerships have helped the Hattiesburg community expand testing sites, set good policy and make immunizations available to all.
“I look forward to seeing more of our residents get their immunizations this weekend at C.E. Roy Community Center.”
The site will administer 250 vaccines on Saturday and 250 vaccines on Sunday. All participating patients who receive vaccines will wait for 10-15 minutes to make sure there are no adverse reactions.
“We have seen tremendous progress in the fight against COVID in the Pine Belt over the last two months, and one of the major reasons for that progress is that so many of our residents made the choice to be vaccinated,” said Dr. Bryan Batson, Hattiesburg Clinic chief executive officer. “Thankfully, we are seeing drastic declines in the numbers of positive cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.
“Over the last year of this battle, there have been many milestones, and one of them occurred in this building last month. During the first vaccine clinic (at C.E. Roy) held in February, we vaccinated just over 500 patients with the Pfizer vaccine. The focus was on vaccinating patients who have limited access to internet or phone – and that focus remains for the upcoming vaccine clinic this weekend.”
Mississippi has received a limited number of Johnson & Johnson vaccines and the Mississippi Department of Health has allotted these 500 vaccine doses specifically to Hattiesburg Clinic and Forrest General’s Healthworks Immunization program for distribution at C.E. Roy Community Center.
According to Batson, details regarding the vaccine include:
- On Feb. 27, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine received emergency use authorization from the FDA.
- Like Pfizer and Moderna, this is an excellent vaccine to help prevent COVID-19 and its complications.
- In clinical trials, the J&J vaccine was nearly 100 percent effective in preventing hospitalization and death in patients who contracted COVID.
Two major differences that set this vaccine apart from Pfizer or Moderna are that J&J is a single-dose vaccine and it does not have to be frozen at low temperatures in special freezers.
The C.E. Roy Community Center will continue to provide COVID-19 testing at no cost to patients on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. until noon.
For those with questions or concerns regarding the vaccine or about the vaccine weekend, calls can be made to the Mayor’s Office at (601) 545-4501.