COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) – With South Carolina’s COVID-19 vaccination rate approaching 50 percent, DHEC will soon be offering some new incentives to encourage more people to get the shots and push that rate even higher
Brannon Traxler, South Carolina’s public health director, said in a media briefing Wednesday afternoon the Department of Health and Environmental Control is trying to be creative to boost the state’s vaccination rates in all age groups, but particularly among younger people. Fewer than 15,000 people age 20 to 24 have been vaccinated, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.
DHEC is currently working with the state Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism on a plan to have mobile-vaccination clinics in state parks and with the South Carolina Brewers Guild on a “Shot and a Beer” campaign, Traxler said.
The mobile park clinics would offer visitors free park admission for the day to get vaccinated, while the campaign with the Brewers Guild would make shots available at certain breweries across the state. DHEC is still working to finalize the plans for both campaigns, Traxler said.
“Getting your shots are not only how you protect yourself, but the vaccine is how we end this pandemic and return to our normal lives,” Traxler said, adding that it’s extremely important for young people to continue to get vaccinated because it means they would not have to quarantine and miss out on school, sports, and social events if they became exposed to someone with the virus.
“Getting your shots helps get you back to way things were before,” Traxler said.
To date in South Carolina, 44 percent of the state’s population 12 or older has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Traxler said. That comes as the state reported three additional deaths on Wednesday – two confirmed and one probable.
In addition, DHEC said there are also 302 people still hospitalized with the virus across the state, including 80 who are in intensive-care units. There are also 43 people on ventilators.