Millions of S.C. residents still need to get vaccinated to reach herd immunity

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – South Carolina is one of many southern states lagging behind when it comes to vaccine allocations.

Health experts said supply isn’t the issue. There’s enough vaccinations for all South Carolinians who want to receive their doses. The main issue causing the state to lag behind: low demand. Experts said the divider between residents and the vaccine is a giant wall of misinformation and hesitancy.

According to DHEC, roughly 1.4 million residents over the age of 15 have been vaccinated in the past 6 months but leaders said  the state may not be moving fast enough to reach herd immunity anytime soon.

There are a total of 4.1 million residents over the age of 15 which means about 1.5 million more residents still need to be fully vaccinated to reach 70% herd immunity. 

Health leaders at Bon Secours said they’ve turned their attention to communities with disparities— along with high hesitancy— and those who may be victims of vaccine misinformation.

“They’re just hesitant to do something so new and want to see how that first round works. We’ve gotten past all of those who were super eager to get their vaccine and get back to some semblance of normalcy and protection—- now we have to work on those who are a little bit more hesitant,” Brandy Giles, manager of the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic at Bon Secours St. Francis said.

Giles said even though the state is currently in a lull when it comes to the amount of COVID-19 cases, low vaccination numbers could potentially put us at an increased risk for a spike. She said residents who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine need to  continue to get tested for COVID-19 and practice precautions that have been put in place for the past year. 

For more information on the race towards herd immunity, click here.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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