DHEC encourages COVID vaccination with emerging Delta variant


MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — There’s only 4 cases of the Delta variant in South Carolina but the CDC has classified it as a variant of concern because it carries a higher rate of transmission.

DHEC officials say the only way to stop it and other variants from spreading, is to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“If more people are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 then the virus can continue to spread and it could mutate further, reaching a point that makes our certain vaccines less effective,” said Dr. Jonathan Knoche, a public health medical consultant with DHEC.

There are currently 5 known variants of COVID-19 out there: Alpha, Beta, Epsilon, Delta, and Gamma.

Courtesy SCDHEC’s website

While DHEC said the cases of COVID have gone down, the number of young people getting the COVID vaccine is also down.

In Horry County, in the 12-19 year old range, 4,764 people have received the COVID vaccine.

In the 20-24 age range, 1,078 people have gotten the vaccine. In Florence, 433 have gotten the vaccine, 63 in Dillon and 77 in Marion in that age range

“The CDC, the American academy of pediatrics, the American heart association, as well as DHEC, all recommend vaccination for young adults and adolescents because the benefits far outway the risks in our country,” Dr. Knoche said.

Dr. Paul Richardson, the Chief Medical Officer for Conway Medical Center said, “we do know there are some young people that have got very ill from covid.”

Dr. Richardson said that’s why he’s encouraging young people to get the vaccine because he’s seen a change in the past few months.

“Someone who is on the front lines everyday and really sees the women and men who are treating these folks everyday, we live it everyday. The vaccine has been a definite game changer, it has changed the numbers dramatically,” Dr. Richardson said.

For an update on the latest COVID-19 cases, you can go on their site at https://scdhec.gov/covid19.

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