1/15/21 - Vaccine Demand | Protest Safety Preparations | MLK Convocation: David Dennis


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After the health department's scheduled vaccinations abruptly reached capacity, residents seek answers from officials about when the next shipment of doses will be available.

Then, with FBI warnings of protests beginning this weekend throughout the nation, we examine Mississippi's preparations.

Plus, 60 years after the first Freedom Rides, we reflect with a civil rights veteran who was arrested in Jackson and sent to Parchman.

Segment 1:

Mississippians are expressing frustration after surging demand filled all the state's drive-thru coronavirus vaccination appointments earlier this week. After Governor Tate Reeves announced the state would deviate from CDC guidelines and extend vaccine eligibility to all residents 65 and older as well as all residents 18 and over with underlying health conditions, thousands of residents overwhelmed the department of health's scheduling apparatus - causing long call waits and website delays. Preston Cantner of Grenada was trying to schedule an appointment for himself and his 85-year-old uncle. He tells our Kobee Vance the experience has left him frustrated.

Officials say the demand and fulfillment of the current allocation will lead to continued allocations from the federal government in the coming weeks. But, State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says the change in the distribution plan is revealing an imbalance in access that is detrimental to the under-resourced.

Segment 2:

Mississippi law enforcement is on high alert to prepare for possible armed protests at state capitol buildings in the days leading up to the the presidential inauguration on Jan. 20. This week, the FBI issued warnings as more information was gathered following the violent insurrection last Wednesday. Sean Tindell is the Department of Public Safety Commissioner. He tells our Kobee Vance he is coordinating with partners at all levels to ensure any activity remains peaceful and safe.

Segment 3:

A civil rights veteran who has worked and fought for 60 years, David Dennis was one of the original Freedom Riders who rode from Montgomery to Jackson in 1961. He was arrested and sent to Parchman the moment he stepped off the bus in Mississippi's capital city. He would later to go on to serve as field secretary for the Congress of Racial Equality and co-director of the Council of Federated Organizations. He also helped organize Freedom Summer in 1964. Today, he will keynote the Margaret Walker Center's virtual 53rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Convocation at 10:00 a.m. Dennis joined us earlier this week to reflect on the events that led to his ride into Jackson, and how he view the recent surge of protests in the fight against racial injustice.

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