Mayor: Natchez begins vaccination campaign

Published 6:19 am Sunday, August 8, 2021

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We all are hearing the stories … people dying of the new COVID delta variant, their last words to friends and family, “I should have gotten the vaccine.”

Clearly, this “new COVID” is far worse than the COVID of 2020. The delta variant mutation is far more contagious – and deadly.

The answer is plain – people need to take the vaccine. The facts don’t lie:

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Statewide, 89 percent of all hospitalized cases are people who didn’t take the vaccine.

Statewide, 85 percent of all COVID deaths are people who didn’t take the vaccine.

Hospitals everywhere are again nearing capacity because of COVID patients who didn’t take the vaccine.

A respected physician at Merit Natchez reports that all but one recent admission for COVID are people who didn’t take the vaccine.

That one person was someone with preexisting severe pulmonary disease.

Across the country, the communities that are doing best are the ones that have high vaccination rates of 65 to 70 percent.

Natchez is nowhere close.

With a vaccination rate of only 32 percent, we have a ways to go.

And making progress in our vax (vaccination) rate is critical if we are going to keep our citizens safe, our businesses open, and our economy going strong. Otherwise, our numbers will continue to rise, and it will have an adverse effect on everything we have been working so hard to accomplish.

For that reason, the City of Natchez, working with Adams County, the Natchez/Adams School District, Magnolia Health and Merit Natchez, is launching an aggressive vaccination campaign.

A promotional video has been produced, and within the next few days, we will launch an ad campaign to include print, digital and radio.

And more messaging is on the way, to include emails, articles, and soon-to-be-produced videos of testimonials to include health experts in our area.

This is just a beginning.

We have a lot of work to do. It is important that we as a community begin taking vaccinations seriously, making sure everyone 12 and older and able to be vaccinated are given that chance.

For those who are worried or afraid to take the vaccine, it is important to note that all studies indicate that the vaccine is safe.

Of course any medication has side effects, and nothing is guaranteed.

But here is a shocking statistic released just this week by Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the State of Mississippi’s top health officer:

The number of documented Mississippi deaths due to COVID is over 7,500.

The number of documented Mississippi deaths due to the vaccine is zero.

Get the vaccine Natchez.

Stop the spread. Safe a life, namely yours. And help save our economy, our community, our friends and our families.

The vaccine is available at all local pharmacies and healthcare providers.

It stops with you.

Natchez deserves more.

Dan M. Gibson is mayor of the City of Natchez.