Pee Dee lawmaker encourages others to get vaccine


FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — State Representative Terry Alexander got his vaccine shot Friday to encourage others to step up and do the same.

Getting African Americans and other minority groups to get vaccinated has been a huge topic.

According to DHEC officials when the rollout first begun they did see minorities wait out their turn on getting vaccinated, but now they are seeing a change.

“I’m hoping and praying that we take this vaccine to the people,” Alexander said. “Not the people come to the vaccine, but let’s take this vaccine to the people.”

In the 65+ group in South Carolina, nearly 213,000 females in the state are vaccinated and within that nearly 133,000 are white females and only 29,300 are African American. DHEC officials say minority numbers are improving.

“Actually, as we are getting more experienced with the vaccine, we are learning that among groups that we expected to have vaccine hesitancy is that’s improving,” said Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist with DHEC. “We are seeing an increase in demand for vaccines and that’s good news because we do want as many people to get vaccinated as possible.”

The president of Marion County NAACP, Marvin Hemingway, says the pandemic has brought a toll on him and others in his community.

“It’s affecting the black community tremendously,” Hemingway said. “I know the funeral homes at one time had 19 bodies at one time in one week of African Americans and talking to families asking them what do we need to do to try to help them and everyone is saying we need the vaccine.”

Alexander said he thinks there’s a lack of trust with getting the vaccine among African Americans and other minority groups and believes there’s a lack of resources in the area where they live.

“Why can’t we go out to the Black churches where people are, and people feel comfortable going to those Black churches,” he said. “Go to the Black community and these community centers and set it up. They did a fantastic job over in North Florence.”

Hemingway said he and the Marion County NAACP are putting together a zoom call free to the public to help those in the community to understand more about vaccines. Info is as follows:

Greetings Presidents:

Brenda Murphy is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: COVID-19 Response

Time: Feb 21, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 989 3273 9617

Passcode: 778079

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