The best defense against coronavirus is the COVID-19 vaccine. Scroll to hear directly from Hattiesburgers about the importance of getting the vaccine, then learn more about how you can schedule your shot.


As we continue to see high case numbers, hospitalizations, ICU admissions and death in our community due to COVID-19, we encourage you to seek out valid vaccine information from a trusted physician – your physician.

Getting vaccinated is our opportunity to beat down this pandemic. We know that those who are not vaccinated are at risk of contracting, spreading it to others, being hospitalized and even dying. These vaccines are safe and well-studied, and the benefit of vaccination far outweighs any potential risk from very rare vaccine side effects.
Dr. Jawauna Stewart, Hospital Medicine – Hattiesburg Clinic
I've done a lot of research, and all the science tells us that if you get COVID-19 and you were fully vaccinated, you reduce your chances of getting sick enough to go into the hospitals; you reduce your chances of going into the ICU; and, you reduce your chances of being put on the vent and possibly dying. Please, get vaccinated for yourself and for those who care about you.
Dr. Steven Farrell, Chief Medical Officer – Forrest General Hospital
For those still on the fence, I want to encourage you to get vaccinated. Millions have taken that step like I have and are doing fine. By getting vaccinated, you are also helping keep our hospitals and healthcare workers from becoming overwhelmed with patients. There is a peace of mind that comes with knowing you've done your part.
Dr. Cherie Papizan, Hospital Services – Forrest General Hospital
We know the COVID-19 vaccines are effective at minimizing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death. I trust the science. Let's end this pandemic.
Dr. Bill Reno, Chief Medical Officer – Merit Health Wesley
It is hard to overstate the importance of vaccines in our fight against COVID. People who are vaccinated have a lower risk of infection and a lower risk of hospitalization and death if they do get infected. Getting vaccinated is something that you can do to protect yourself and your community.
Dr. Daniel Crane, ER Medical Director + Medical Staff President – Merit Health Wesley
Coronavirus in children is less severe [in symptoms], but we are seeing more kids with post-acute covid syndrome. Many children who have COVID go on to suffer from chronic fatigue, shortness of breath and tachycardia (high heart rate). These things are preventable and we encourage all kids (age-eligible) to be vaccinated.
Dr. Anita Henderson, The Pediatric Clinic – Hattiesburg Clinic
The best action to take a stand against COVID-19 continues to be the vaccine. While no vaccine is 100%, they do remain our best way to slow the spread of this deadly virus. It prevents infection and is extremely effective in reducing the severity of the disease, risk of hospitalization and risk of death. If you're on the fence about the vaccine please talk with a trusted health care professionabl about your concerns and make an appointment.
Dr. Bryan Batson, CEO – Hattiesburg Clinic


Having questions about the COVID-19 vaccine is expected and natural. But, seeking information from a trusted source is vital to making a decision that works for you and your family. At every juncture of our city’s response to COVID-19, we have leaned on our medical community – physicians and medical personnel right here in Hattiesburg. We hope you’ll do the same.

  • Everyone 5+ and older (Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved for people age 5 to 17).
  • Booster doses are now available for everyone ages 18 years and older.
  • ID, health insurance, and social security numbers are not required to get the vaccine.
  • The vaccine is FREE.

Vaccines are readily available throughout our community. To schedule an appointment with a local physicians office or pharmacy, see the links below.


Once you get your shot, let your friends and family know. If you find your friends and family are hesitant, encourage them to speak with a trusted physician.


In general, vaccines stimulate your immune system to produce antibodies. Antibodies are the cells in your body that fight infections and either keep you from getting sick or help you recover from being sick. Multiple vaccines have been developed to protect against COVID-19. The following vaccines have been issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA:


Type: mRNA
Dose: 2 doses 21 days apart
EUA Issued: Dec. 11, 2020; Full Approval Issued: Aug. 23, 2021 (for ages 16+)
EUA Issued for children ages 5-11: Oct. 29, 2021
Pfizer is currently the only vaccine approved for children 5 to 17 . It’s approved under the EUA status.

Booster Dose: Everyone ages 18 years and older is eligible at least 6 months after the last dose in their primary series. Any of the three COVID-19 vaccines can be used for the booster dose.

More Information


Type: mRNA
Dose: 2 doses 28 days apart
EUA Issued: Dec. 18, 2020
Booster Dose: Everyone ages 18 years and older is eligible at least 6 months after the last dose in their primary series. Any of the three COVID-19 vaccines can be used for the booster dose. Any of the three COVID-19 vaccines can be used for the booster dose.

More Information

Johnson + Johnson

Type: Modified Adenovirus
Dose: 1 dose
EUA Issued: Feb. 27, 2021
Booster Dose: At least 2 months after the first dose for all people ages 18 years and older. Any of the three COVID-19 vaccines can be used for the booster dose.

More Information


These Hattiesburgers believe the vaccine is the best path forward and encourage others to do the same. See the quotes and videos below as each tells their own story for why they chose to trust their doc and get the shot.

My own personal health situation made me want to ask the questions about whether it made sense to get the vaccine. I have great trust in my health care providers – both here at the Cancer Center and at the Mayo Clinic – so I asked all of the questions. I also have people that I'm surrounded by that I wanted to protect. So I did that. I asked the questions and then I made it a priority to get the vaccine.
Kent Oliver, Laughs 4 Life Founder
I got my vaccine for my child, for myself, for my family and for my community. As a good neighbor and good citizens – it's important for everyone to take this step. It's going to take all of us to make sure we're safe as a community.
Tonsa Vaughn, Assistant Superintendent of Academic Programs at Hattiesburg Public Schools
I lost someone in my family early-on to COVID-19. So, when it came time for me to be able to get it. I did. It was mine and my family's way to pay tribute to him, but also to protect my loved ones and my friends. As a student leader, it was also my way of leading from the front and helping our campus get back to being social, having classes in-person and more.
Lucas Williams, SGA President at Southern Miss
For me – getting the vaccine was an important step in protecting me and my loved ones from COVID-19. To make that decision, I leaned on my doctor because he's the one who went to medical school and understands the science behind infectious diseases and medical intervention. I have to trust the professionals who I trust with my life – in all situations. This one was no different.
Allison Neville, Live at Five Director


“Trust Your Doc. Get Your Shot!” is a shared community campaign between the City of Hattiesburg and its partners across health care, education, philanthropy and tourism.