RIDGELAND, S.C. (WSAV) — Jasper County currently sits as the fifth least vaccinated county in South Carolina, with just over 35% of citizens fully vaccinated.
On Saturday, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, (DHEC) and The Palmetto Palace held vaccination clinics at the Festival Herencia Latina de Ridgeland at the Jasper County Farmers Market to encourage those in the Latino community to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
In an area that has more Latinos than any other in the state, health officials say this is a community that has been especially hesitant in receiving the shot. Primarily, due to the language barrier and the lack of accessible Spanish news outlets in the area.
“You know, we’re getting a lot of questions which is good. Folks are wanting to know a little more about it, so they’re actually speaking to their hesitancy, and we’re also seeing many folks with their families and children receiving the vaccine today,” said Dr. Youlanda Gibbs, Founder and Executive Director of The Palmetto Palace.
Because of this, many in the community have relied on social media and word of mouth to receive their COVID information, which has allowed for some misinformation to spread.
“A popular question that we also have in the Latino community is if my lady is pregnant will this somehow affect their pregnancy? Of course, that has been answered and addressed but its information that’s late getting to the community because of the language barrier,” said Dr. Arnold Alier, Director at SC Department of Health and Environmental Control.
According to new data from DHEC, thousands in the Lowcountry have opted not to get the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Something both doctors at the clinic advised against, and recommend receiving both doses if you opt for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
“When you get just the single vaccine of the mRNA vaccines, the effectiveness is only about 30%. So, if you took the time and the effort to get your first shot, you really should get your second shot to get the full benefit,” explained Dr. Alier.