By HEATHER RUPPE
State health leaders were all smiles in a recent press conference where they announced that half of South Carolina’s population that can be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus is now fully vaccinated.
The announcement came on Thursday, about two months after 50 percent of the state’s eligible population had received one dose of the two-dose vaccine process.
You are eligible for vaccination if you are over the age of 12.
Additionally, officials with the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) are reporting that approximately 59 percent of eligible residents in the state have received at least one vaccine.
In Colleton County, 51 percent of all eligible residents are vaccinated, according to DHEC.
DHEC officials say the goal is to have a statewide 70-80 percent vaccination rate among those who are eliglble.
“Reaching this 50 percent benchmark is a testament to the countless hours DHEC and partner staff have put into putting these life-saving doses into arms,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director. “It’s also indicative of our outreach efforts, work with local and state leaders, and so many others who understand how important vaccination is to ending this pandemic. That said, the mission is not over because the pandemic is not over. We need more South Carolinians to step up and get vaccinated so we can stamp COVID out once and for all.”
S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster called the new vaccination rate a “milestone,” saying there is still more work to do to fight the reemergence of the COVID-19 virus.
“Ultimately, the decision to get vaccinated or not is a personal one, but I would ask every South Carolinian to consult your doctor and speak with trusted family and friends in order to make the most educated decision possible,” said McMaster, in a press release. “Two things are clear – the most effective way to protect ourselves from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated and the vaccine is readily available in every part of the state. If you decide to get vaccinated after thoughtful consideration of all the facts, now is the time to do it.”
DHEC officials say they will continue with statewide vacation efforts, which recently included them using mobile vaccination centers at home football games at the University of South Carolina and Clemson University. Residents wanting to receive the vaccine can also go to their doctors’ office, pharmacies and clinics.
For a complete list of vaccine sites, call 1-866-365-8110.
According to DHEC, the following list of sites in Colleton County do have available and approved COVID-19 vaccines.
Rearden Internal Medicine & Geriatrics, Llc (Medical practice – internal medicine). 121 South Jefferies Boulevard, Walterboro. 843-209-0055
Colleton County Health Department (Public health provider – public health clinic). 219 S Lemacks Street, Walterboro. (866) 365-8110.
Walterboro Family Care. 457 Spruce Street, Walterboro.
Walterboro Pharmacy LLC. 1315 N. Jefferies Blvd. , Walterboro. 843) 782-4050
DHEC Mobile Clinic @ Mt. Olive Baptist Church. 329 Savage Street, Walterboro. (866) 365-8110
Walgreens. 1326 N Jefferies Blvd, Walterboro.
CVS. 555 Robertson Blvd, Walterboro.
Lowcountry Urgent Care Walterboro. 1515 Bells Hwy, Walterboro. 843-538-6240
Walmart Pharmacy. 2110 Bells Hwy, Walterboro.
Palmetto Palace. 1029 Bowman Lane, Walterboro. 833-625-4584
Palmetto Palace @ Neyles Community Center. 445 Featherbed Road, Round O. 833-625-4584