DHEC and Gov. McMaster announce SC’s 50 percent vaccine rate, encourage others

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FILE – In this Sunday, July 11, 2021, file photo, a doctor fills a syringe with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, file)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced Thursday that South Carolina has reached a 50 percent vaccination rate among eligible residents.

In July, the agency announced that 50 percent of residents had received at least one dose of vaccine. Thursday’s milestone puts South Carolina closer to the 70-80 percent vaccination goal.

“We’ve reached an important milestone with over 50% of eligible South Carolinians making the decision to get vaccinated, but the reemergence of the virus shows that we have more work to do,” Gov. Henry McMaster said. “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. 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 will continue to get residents vaccinated through outreach efforts and events. These include vaccination opportunities at the University of South Carolina and Clemson University home football games, as well as mobile vaccination clinics starting earlier this month.

These efforts are in addition to the hundreds of clinics around the state, and the ability to visit pharmacies and doctors’ offices to get vaccinated, DHEC officials said.

“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.”

Vaccinations are available for ages 12 and up. Visit DHEC’s COVID-19 webpage for more information, the locator page to find a nearby place to get vaccinated, or call our Vaccine Information Line at 1-866-365-8110.

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