Mississippi currently has one of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the country and is among several states experiencing a rapid rise in infections, hospitalizations, and deaths as a result of the Delta variant.
But one former HBCU women’s basketball coach is working to improve the state’s outlook.
Denise Taylor, the one-time coach at Jackson State, is the clinic director for Mound Bayou, Mississippi department of health.
During a segment on “CBS This Morning,” her efforts to get vulnerable residents vaccinated were chronicled.
“It’s like winning a game,” Taylor told CBS of successes in convincing people to get shots. “If you can one person to get the vaccination, it’s a win.”
The spread of the Delta variant across the U.S. is putting new attention and pressure on people who have not been vaccinated. In 5 U.S. states, less than 50 percent of the eligible population has received at least one shot. Mississippi has the lowest vaccination rate of all. pic.twitter.com/eBQde1Zdm2
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) July 13, 2021
As of July 7, only 47.1% of adults in Mississippi had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, with only 33.2% being fully vaccinated. This is in comparison to the national average of 48% of adults being fully vaccinated.
“I’m a coach,” said Taylor, who was head coach at Jackson State for 10 seasons while compiling a 153-143 overall record, including winning a SWAC championship in 2008. “I don’t want to be last in anything.”