Hundreds of staff, students come out for Beaufort County Schools drive-thru vaccine clinic

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BLUFFTON, SC (WSAV) – Beaufort County Schools getting students and parents prepared for the school year – by protecting them against COVID-19.

The school district joined forces with Beaufort Memorial Hospital Thursday for the first of two drive-thru vaccination clinics for students and staff.

Originally the clinic at Bluffton Middle School was only supposed to hand out 180 doses, but the response was so strong that the hospital upped the appointments to 300.

“We have been on defense for a long time against this pandemic and the vaccination gives us a chance to play offense against this thing,” said Courtney Smith, Beaufort Memorial Director of Operations and Special Projects. “With the delta variant, we are seeing younger and sicker cases of COVID-19. It is affecting more children and with children going back to school Monday, it’s extremely important we arm them with the best protection possible and that’s the vaccine.”

Parents who came to the event say they didn’t want to wait any longer. The recent delta variant and rise in cases brought them out.

“We honestly wanted to wait a while to see what other experiences people had,” said Tonya Genco, who brought her son. “And I think we drew a line in the sand when school started.”

“My daughter is an athlete, does competitive cheer at a gym in Pooler,” explained Annette Lee, a Hilton Head High Parent. “Just being around more students. I want her to stay in school. I don’t want her to be quarantined, I want her to be safe.”

The clinic Friday afternoon at Lady’s Island Middle School has already filled all of its 300 slots.

Beaufort Memorial says because of staffing shortages – they’re not sure if they will have the people needed for another round of school drive-thru clinics.

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