Jackson State University is providing free vaccines for Jackson residents and its students. Almost 900,000 Mississippians are now fully vaccinated, with almost 2 million people receiving at least one dose to date. Photo courtesy JSU
A Jackson State University program is currently offering Pfizer and Moderna vaccinations to eligible students and Jackson residents. The historically Black public university is administering the free program in conjunction with the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center.
JSU is offering Pfizer vaccinations for any eligible person over age 12. It is offering the Moderna vaccine to those 16 and older, though the university expects to soon be able to vaccinate children aged 12 and up. The Jackson State University Health Center is answering questions concerning program availability at 601-979-2260.
Despite the vaccine availability, children are notably absent from the program. Data from the Mississippi State Department of Health show just over 4,000 children aged 12 through 15 have received vaccinations in the two weeks since MSDH cleared Pfizer for use among that age group. MSDH notes, however, that vaccinations among children whose ages were not explicitly reported are not noted in the report.
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to clear Moderna as the second vaccine for use in children aged 12-15. The company reported 100% effectiveness in a study of adolescents aged 12-17 on Tuesday.
“We are encouraged that mRNA-1273 was highly effective at preventing COVID-19 in adolescents,” said Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna, in Tuesday’s press release. “We will submit these results to the U.S. FDA and regulators globally in early June and request authorization. We remain committed to doing our part to help end the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The study sampled more than 3,700 adolescents and found zero cases of COVID-19. A previous study found the vaccine to be 96% effective, in line with the general population. Authorization for Pfizer’s use in children took just over a month after the company’s initial request, and Moderna’s authorization is likely to take the same amount of time.
In addition to JSU’s vaccination program, the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center is holding a vaccine-themed event at Fondren After 5 on June 3. The event will include food, games and prizes, as well as vaccinations and related information. More information about this event is available at 601-362-5321.
Email Reporting Fellow Julian Mills at [email protected]