Qualifying for COVID-19 Vaccination
Who Should Be Vaccinated
- Eligible individuals 16 and older can receive the Pfizer vaccine, and those 18 and over can receive the Moderna vaccine.
- Those under 18 should see their physician or a private medical provider about vaccination rather than visiting am MSDH drive-through site.
- Pregnant women, lactating women and those who are immunocompromised may take the vaccine; however, consultation with your healthcare provider is recommended.
- You can be vaccinated if you have tested positive for COVID-19 if you wait until your isolation period is over and your symptoms have significantly improved.
Who Should Not Be Vaccinated
- You should not take the vaccine if you have had severe reactions from previous vaccines or injectable medications.
Who Is Currently Eligible for Vaccination in Mississippi
COVID-19 vaccinations are provided to Mississippi residents only, or to out-of-state residents who work in Mississippi.
Teachers, staff and employees in K-12, preschool or childcare settings. (For appointments on or after March 1st)
Public safety personnel: Law enforcement, public safety, fire services and emergency management officials. (For appointments on or after March 1st)
Adults aged 65 and older. Adults in this age group can be vaccinated at any of our drive-through locations below, or at some private healthcare providers. See below for appointment information.
Anyone 16 to 64 years old with a chronic health condition that may put them at higher risk from COVID-19. (18 or older at our drive-through sites.) Qualifying health conditions:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Down Syndrome
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
- Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but less than 40 kg/m2)
- Severe Obesity (BMI 40 kg/m2 or higher)
- Sickle cell disease
- Or other medical conditions as determined by your medical provider
Note that your physician or medical provider may advise that you be vaccinated even if you do not have a health condition listed above.
Long-term care facility residents and staff.
Healthcare personnel and EMT/paramedics, paid or unpaid, in any setting where they may be exposed directly or indirectly to COVID-19 patients or COVID-19 infectious materials.
Healthcare workers include nurses, physicians, emergency medical services, technicians, pharmacists, dietary and food staff, environmental services staff and others.
Healthcare settings include acute care facilities, long-term acute care facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home health care, mobile clinics, outpatient facilities such as physicians' offices and others.
If you have had severe reactions from previous vaccines or injectable medications, please consult with your doctor or a private medical provider about vaccination, rather than visiting an MSDH drive-through site.
Finding a Vaccination
- Eligible Mississippians can be vaccinated at one of our drive-through vaccination sites.
- Many private health clinics and selected pharmacy outlets are also offering COVID-19 vaccinations to those who qualify.
- An appointment is required for drive-through vaccinations. If you are not yet eligible, you do not need to pre-register or sign up in advance for vaccinations.
- Many health facilities will arrange vaccinations for their staff on-site. Check with your facility if you are a healthcare worker.
- Look for MSDH's announcements on our website and in the news concerning vaccination availability for other groups, where to go for your vaccination, and how to make an appointment.
- Like most vaccines, you should expect some soreness and fatigue for up to a day after vaccination, a sign that the body is developing a proper immune response.
- Large-scale testing of the vaccine has found no major side effects to the vaccine
- Two vaccinations, several weeks apart (depending on type of vaccine) will be required for full effectiveness. You should schedule your second dose for the appropriate time. For Pfizer vaccine, that's 3 weeks after your first vaccination, and for Moderna, 4 weeks. If necessary, your second vaccination can be made as much as 6 weeks after your first.
- Continue to practice social distancing and other protective measures after you are fully vaccinated. This prevents possible spread of COVID-19 to others, even though you may not be ill, and protects you from the potential risk of infection from new variants of COVID-19.
Your Second Dose
- Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses. Both doses of vaccine are necessary to be fully protected against COVID-19.
- If you receive the Pfizer vaccine, you should return 3 to 6 weeks later for your second dose. If you receive the Moderna vaccine, you should return 4 to 6 weeks later for your second dose.
- You must make a separate appointment for your second dose vaccination; it is not done automatically. Look for information on scheduling your second dose in the confirmation e-mail you get for your first vaccination appointment. If you have already had your first vaccination, look for a reminder e-mail with instructions on making your second dose appointment. If you need assistance with making a second dose appointment, call the COVID-19 Hotline at 877-978-6453.
- You will receive a text message reminder about your second vaccination as time for your second dose approaches. You can also set a reminder with the v-safe app for your smartphone.
- Please bring the vaccination card you received at your first dose to your second dose vaccination.
- If possible, schedule your second drive-through vaccination at the same location you received your first dose.
- If your first vaccination was through a private provider or pharmacy and not at one of our drive-through locations, return to that provider or pharmacy for your second dose.
- After you are vaccinated, continue to follow all safety measures such as social distancing and mask wearing to reduce the chance of passing COVID-19 to others.