Tuesday, November 23, 2021
As a growing number of restaurants and businesses in cities around the country require proof of vaccination, Mississippi’s health leadership recently took the opportunity to promote the state’s digital vaccine record website.
MyIR, which can be accessed here, has allowed users to view their vaccination history since the program’s inception in February of this year. Recently, the program added the ability to obtain a certification of full vaccination.
“You can use that to demonstrate that you've been fully vaccinated if you are out and about and have to do that,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said. “I know out of state especially, or getting on a plane, or in other settings where you might have to verify that you’ve been fully vaccinated now we have a certificate.”
“I was in New York City not long ago and anything you went into you had to go and show your proof of vaccination,” State Health Officer Thomas Dobbs added.
Restaurants in New Orleans also now require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, with the requirements expected to last at least through Mardi Gras of next year.
Website instructions for MyIR are available through MSDH here, or by calling MSDH’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-877-978-6453.
Mississippi’s population now stands at 47% fully vaccinated with just over 1.4 million residents receiving their full doses. Including natural immunity from previous COVID-19 infection, Dobbs estimated that upwards of 80% of the populace may now have ‘some degree of immunity’, but warned that the percentage is still not high enough to prevent outbreaks due to how easily the delta variant spreads.
“It's so contagious that to really reach basically herd immunity, and I almost hate saying that word, to a level that will suppress outbreaks I think is the goal, we’d really like to have 90 plus percent of folks immune and we're just not there,” he said. “If you think about 20% of the population, if that's optimistic it's still 600,000 folks.”
In his oft-heard refrain, Dobbs repeated his plea for Mississippians to get vaccinated.
“It's coming to fruition that you're either going to get COVID or the vaccine, and, you know, you don't want to get, COVID,” he said.
Email Reporting Fellow Julian Mills at [email protected].