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Dr. Dobbs says Mississippi could still see another COVID surge this winter

We talk to the Mississippi's leading health official Dr. Thomas Dobbs about where the fight...
We talk to the Mississippi's leading health official Dr. Thomas Dobbs about where the fight against COVID-19 stands now, and his concerns going forward.
Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 10:42 PM CST
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - Nearly half of Mississippi’s population is considered fully vaccinated and another 500,000 COVID-19 cases have been documented. But State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says a large percentage of Mississippi’s population still hasn’t been exposed to the virus. That means another surge is possible.

“We still have probably 600,000 people who are still vulnerable to COVID fully and haven’t had any immune response available to them.” Dobbs said.

Dr. Dobbs continues encouraging people to get vaccinated, even as vaccine mandates have drawn controversy.

“The messaging we’re going to do is why it’s good for you. Not because you have to do it, but because we know it’s going to make you safer, your family safer, and it’s going to keep you out of the hospital.”

The vaccine booster shot is now available. Dr. Dobbs recommends the booster especially for older and vulnerable residents since he says evidence shows immunity wanes over time.

“We know that when you get immunity to these types of viruses, it doesn’t last forever - either from the flu shot or natural infection. And Coronavirus is similar to that. We never expected it to be a life long 100% immunity.”

While COVID is still a concern and will still be a threat to spread, Dr. Dobbs believes at some point the severity of the virus will decrease.

“Our hope would be that as we develop a more advanced immune response, awareness of how to fight this virus off, and maybe the virus might mitigate itself in some way that it’s not so deadly. It might sort of blend into the background of some of these more respiratory viruses.”

Dr. Dobbs also said more flu is going around right now. Flu symptoms can be similar to COVID, so if you start feeling sick, it’s always a good idea to get checked by a doctor to identify the proper treatments.

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