JACKSON, Miss — The Mississippi Department of Public Health (MSDH) confirmed its 10th pediatric COVID-19 death in a child under 18 on Wednesday.
According to a release, none of the 10 pediatric deaths were vaccinated.
Since COVID was diagnosed in Mississippi in March 2020, the department has reported one death in an infant (under 1 year old), two deaths in the 1-5 year range, one death in the 6-10 year range and six deaths in the 11-17 year range.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers encourages parents to talk with their healthcare provider about childhood vaccination.
“Currently we only have seven percent of the 5-11 age group fully vaccinated and 37 percent of the 12-17 age group fully vaccinated," Byers said. "Vaccination is the best protection for our children who are eligible to receive it. For those under 5 years of age, it is critically important that everyone around the infant or child are vaccinated.”
Vaccinations are available for those 5 and up at all county health departments. Booster shots are recommended for those 12 and up to prevent death or hospitalizations.
Beyond vaccinations and booster shots, the department recommends social distancing, wearing masks and avoiding large crowds.