Alcorn's community drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site initiative draws exceptional turnout
Alcorn State University is doing its part in slowing down the spread of COVID-19 by providing a vaccination site for citizens in surrounding areas.
In collaboration with Claiborne County Emergency Management and the Mississippi State Department of Health, the University community opened a COVID-19 drive-thru vaccination site Tuesday, March 23, on Alcorn’s campus. Despite the rainy weather, the event had an exceptional turnout of people who were eager to receive the Moderna vaccine to significantly boost their immunity to the virus.
Vaccines will be given on campus in the parking lot next to the Davey L. Whitney HPER Complex every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the foreseeable future.
Marvin Ratliff, director for Claiborne County Emergency Management, spoke on the critical role that local officials play in making citizens feel comfortable getting vaccinated.
“We want to serve our citizens,” said Ratliff. “It’s important that our citizens see local faces that they’re familiar with who are trying to help. It makes them more comfortable with taking the vaccine. This effort will help our community get back to normal in the future.”
Jim Craig, the senior deputy, and director for the Mississippi State Department of Health’s Office of Health Protection urged everyone in the area to take advantage of their opportunity to get vaccinated.
“Now is the time to get your shot,” said Craig. “If you’re in this area and you are thinking about getting the shot, then it’s time to get vaccinated.”
Alcorn President Felecia M. Nave expressed the importance of community outreach and how making vaccinations accessible for the region fits into the University’s plan of action.
“Our community members are not just our neighbors, but also they are part of the Alcorn family,” said Nave. “For us, that means being there in times of need, which is why Alcorn is doing all that it can to assist our greater family in the fight against COVID-19. Our close-knit family plays a significant role in the University’s success, so it’s only fitting that we return the favor with an initiative that will help protect and safeguard people’s well-being. The vaccine is the key to us getting our lives back. It allows us to embrace our loved ones again. It eliminates the risk of being infected or possibly infecting others by simply being in each other’s presence. It makes way for us to enjoy simple pleasures such as enjoying a movie or having dinner at a restaurant. The vaccine is the key to a return to normalcy.”
Area residents didn’t hesitate to receive the vaccine. Carl Robinson, a Hermanville, Mississippi native, believes the site is perfect for offering citizens what they need to help end the pandemic.
“I think this is a good thing for our communities,” said Robinson. “I’m also confident in the protection that the vaccine will offer me and others.”
Thir Dangal, a Clinton, Mississippi resident and mathematics professor at Alcorn, praised the University for a well-organized event.
“Despite the weather, Alcorn did a great job at organizing the event,” said Dangal.
Sandy Byther, a Pattison, Mississippi native, also applauded the University for providing the opportunity for everyone.
“It means a lot for Alcorn to make this idea a reality for people in this area,” said Byther. “It’s a great opportunity, and Alcorn is doing a wonderful job. I figured since the opportunity presented itself, I may as well get it done.”
Visit https://covidvaccine.umc.edu/ to schedule your vaccination appointment.