DHEC launches campaign to encourage vaccination

Coronavirus

Photo provided by U.S. Air National Guard / Jacqueline Marshall

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSAV) — South Carolinians are being called on to roll up their sleeves and join the fight against COVID-19.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has launched its COVID-19 Vaccine Action Week. The campaign begins Sunday, June 13 and lasts through June 19.

As many states have expanded vaccine eligibility to children as young as 12, the demand for vaccines has contracted. The Palmetto State has seen vaccine demand decline since mid-April, according to DHEC.

“We have a lot to be proud of and, at the same time, it’s fair to say we have a lot more work to do,” Dr. Brannon Traxler said, DHEC Public Health Director. “For the past 17 months, I’ve been part of our state’s COVID-19 response, and it’s incredible to see how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time to overcome this devastating disease.”

Forty-five percent of eligible residents have received one dose and 38% are fully vaccinated. Those numbers lack behind the White House’s goal of 70% of Americans receiving one dose by Independence Day. Also, some health experts now believe that reaching herd immunity (fully vaccinated population surpassing 70%) within the U.S. is unattainable on the current trajectory.

“I’ve watched South Carolinians care for each other and come together in ways rarely seen before. Now is the time for us all to band together once more and end this pandemic by encouraging our unvaccinated neighbors to get their shots,” Tanner said.

DHEC laid out each the following events and goals for each day during the COVID-19 Vaccine Action Week:

  • Sunday, June 13 (or the appropriate day of worship depending on the faith group): DHEC has reached out to churches, houses of worship, and faith-based groups across the state to encourage them to ring their bells, host moments of silence or reflection, and exercise other methods of respect to honor the more than 9,700 South Carolinians who have lost their lives to COVID-19. Those who worship on a day other than Sunday are asked to remember the lives we’ve lost as they practice their faith this week. 
  • Monday, June 14: 30 DHEC Public Health Departments or other DHEC-operated clinics around the state are offering vaccinations with no appointments or insurance required. The clinic locations and hours are available here. All of these DHEC clinics will offer the Moderna vaccine.
  • Tuesday, June 15:  Retail pharmacies across the state will offer free walk-in vaccinations with no appointments or insurance needed. Participating pharmacies include all Ingles, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Public, Harris Teeter, Kroger and Costco pharmacies. Find the location of one of these retail pharmacies near you at scdhec.gov/vaxlocator.
  • Wednesday, June 16: Participating hospital systems around the state will offer free walk-in vaccinations with no appointments or insurance needed. Click here for more information.
  • Thursday, June 17: Participating Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) around the state will offer free walk-in vaccinations with no appointments or insurance needed.  Clinic locations and hours are available here.
  • Friday, June 18: Participating rural health clinics around the state will offer free walk-in vaccinations with no appointments or insurance needed. Clinic locations and hours are available here.
  • Saturday, June 19: DHEC and partners will be encouraging young adults to educate themselves about the importance of receiving their vaccines and will be promoting the vaccine events occurring at participating breweries around the state as part of the new “The Shot with a Chaser” campaign, a partnership with the S.C. Brewers Guild.

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