COVID-19 deaths in Mississippi continue to increase while the first 25,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived Monday. State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs, state epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers and Senior Deputy/Director of Health Protection Jim Craig received the state’s first vaccinations during a news briefing held at the Mississippi State Department of Health in Jackson. Dobbs said it is time for leaders to lead and protect those they lead. At home, schools, houses of worship, and work he urged residents to make the decisions that will bring more Mississippians through the pandemic. The Mississippi State Department of Health reported 1,648 new COVID-19 cases and five additional deaths on Monday. There have been 181,095 COVID-19 cases and 4,204 coronavirus-related deaths in Mississippi since March.