Cherokee Co. falling behind with COVID vaccination rates, SCDHEC trying to change that


CHEROKEE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – There’s a big push to get more people in Cherokee County vaccinated. State data shows the rate of vaccine recipients there, falls short of other counties in South Carolina. The largest age group not getting vaccinated there is 20 to 24. Medical professionals in other Upstate counties told 7 news, they’re seeing a similar trend.

It’s a shot Gaffney resident Bryan Blanton has avoided.

“Maybe it’s because I feel confidant if I got it, I would survive. I think that’s a reason I haven’t gotten it yet,” said Cherokee County Resident, Bryan Blanton.

He’s 24, that’s within an age bracket medical professionals are trying to reach.

“It is a group that we haven’t seen as much in the vaccination clinics,” said Dr. Marcus Blackstone with Bon Secours.

Dr. Marcus Blackstone with Bon Secours told 7 News, people aged 20 to 24 are trailing behind other ages groups in vaccination rates.

“I just don’t think, they think they’re going to get it,” Dr. Blackstone said.

That number is especially low in Cherokee County. In fact, data from the state health department shows, just over 100 residents 20 to 24 years old in that county, have been fully vaccinated.

State health leaders believe vaccine hesitancy and ease of access could be playing roles.

As for our young adult, he’s warming up to the idea of getting the shot himself.

“I wanted to take a wait and see approach to it before I was the first one to get it,” Blanton said.

State leaders are working on educational outreach now, especially in more rural counties like Cherokee. They’re teaming up with local newspapers to place informational ads.

On top of that, postcards will be coming to every South Carolinian’s door with factual information about the vaccines.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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