Health officials hold briefing to answer Covid-19 questions


GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control addressed several concerns Wednesday in a press conference.

One of the discussed topics is the pause put on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

DHEC says over 82,000 people in South Carolina have received it with no known issues.

Interim director of public health, Dr. Brannon Traxler says, “There is concern from public health officials everywhere that the pause of the Janssen vaccine could cause some increased hesitancy.”

Adding, it’s all a part of a vaccine process.

Dr. Traxler says, “These vaccines are being critically monitored, studied, on-going evaluations are going on, there are quality control checks going on.”

For those who had planned to get the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, DHEC says know your options.

“The best vaccine for you is the first one you can get in your arm, so that may mean for some of these people, if they have access to Moderna or Pfizer, that may be the recommendation. For other where that may be more challenging,” Dr. Traxler said.

For those who do not plan to get the vaccine and are counting on ‘herd immunity’, Dr. Traxler says that’s not happening any time soon.

“We are still very far from herd immunity. So that would not be the choice to try to get to herd immunity. It would not be via natural infection.”

DHEC did confirm that after an increase of cases in the fall, the state of South Carolina is seeing more of a plateau of cases right now.

Their goal is for cases to decrease as fast as possible. They’re still encouraging people to stay socially distanced, wear masks and get the vaccine.

To watch the entire media briefing, click here.

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