Mississippi State Medical Association sponsors COVID Town Hall
Six doctors answered questions from the public during MSMA Town Hall
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Doctors around the state continue to encourage Mississippians to get vaccinated against COVID, although there are still those who believe the vaccinations do more harm than good.
In a virtual COVID-19 Town Hall sponsored by the Mississippi State Medical Association, doctors answered questions from the public about the vaccine, the nursing shortage and mental health as we continue to deal with the pandemic.
“The science is clear. You can believe us or not,” said Dr. Daniel Edney.
Six doctors made up the panel for the COVID Town Hall sponsored by the Mississippi State Medical Association. Dr. Daniel Edney is the Chief Medical Officer for the Mississippi State Department of Health.
Dr. Edney said, “Had Omicron been as deadly as the Delta varian,t we would be dealing with an apocalyptic situation right now. But thank God it was not.”
State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said, “In January alone, we had over 170,000 cases that were reported to the Department of Health, but the deaths have not been as dramatic as we saw in the Delta wave or in previous waves.”
Many of the questions submitted to the panel from the public centered around doubts, reservations and disbelief in the effectiveness of vaccinations. Some asking if they cause strokes and even cancer.
Dr. Hursie Davis-Sullivan, who practices family medicine said, “As a healthcare provider, it doesn’t make any sense to lie to your patient or to hide information. It is ethically wrong and I mean it’s just not humane.”
Dr. Geri Weiland, a Vicksburg Pediatrician, said, “If you had a few weeks on a ventilator, your life is never gonna be the same even if you survive.”
Dr. Kim Hoover says in addition to caring for patients, hospitals continue to deal with a severe nursing shortage.
Dr. Hoover said, “We were already down some in the numbers, right now we have over 3,000 RN vacancies just in hospitals alone.”
On mental health, Dr. Katherine Pannel says there has been an increase in suicides, anxiety and depression during the pandemic.
Dr. Pannel said, “In talking about mental health care, depression rates, anxiety rates, substance abuse is on the rise - all due to the stressors that have come from the pandemic. So we have to keep talking about it and having those needed conversations so that we can reduce the stigma.”
There was criticism but there was also praise for healthcare professionals who have been on the frontlines fighting to save lives.
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