JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — An office within the Mississippi State Department of Health that works to reduce gaps in access to health care is looking for organizations to host coronavirus vaccination events for Hispanic, Black and Vietnamese residents, as well as people who live in rural areas.

The Office of Health Equity is partnering with Federally Qualified Health Centers to increase vaccination efforts around the state, focusing on vulnerable populations.

"What we need now are new local partners to help us bring vaccinations into communities that have not had the access that other Mississippians have had so far,” said Director of the Office of Health Equity Dr. Chigozie Udemgba.

These partners can be community organizations, businesses, and even cities. The partners will help identify individuals who need vaccinations, and the health department will schedule the event.

Those interested in hosting a vaccination event in a minority or rural Mississippi community can call 1-877-978-6453.

As of Friday, 61% of all vaccinations against the coronavirus in Mississippi had been given to white residents, according to data provided by the state Department of Health. Just over 30% of vaccinations have been given to Black residents, and 2% to Asian residents.

Mississippi has the highest population of African American residents, at just under 40% of the state's total population.