HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — With nearly 300 COVID-19 cases and more than 76 employees in quarantine after just one week of classes, Horry County school leaders are hoped to slow the coronavirus surge with several back-to-school vaccination clinics on Saturday.
Skyler Hinz, a junior at Carolina Forest High School, said with her grandmother on oxygen, getting the COVID-19 vaccine would serve as an extra layer of protection.
“I just wanted to have some type of immunity to it and just contribute to people knowing about it and the research behind it,” Hinz said.
Vaccination clinics opened Saturday at Conway, Carolina Forest, Loris and Socastee high schools for students and staff interested in getting the Pfizer vaccine.
“There’s a bit of excitement not only for the students but also the family members, Dr. Jae Shim, a second family medicine resident at Conway Medical Center, said. “There’s a lot of studies being done right now, actively, that show a lot of protection against the delta variant.”
Horry County schools partnered with Conway Medical Center to give the shot and increase the number of vaccinated students and staff.
“We’ve been seeing this inflow of the delta variant around the state, and we feel it’s very important before the students start their year that they get their vaccination,” Dr. Shim said.
A total of 274 vaccinations were given Saturday, including 92 Pfizer doses at Carolina Forest High School. For students like Skyler, getting the first dose was all about protecting herself and those around her.
“I think with more people going to school there’s a higher chance that we’re going to get COVID,” Hinz said. “My bus is pretty packed, so if something does happen, if an outbreak does happen, I don’t get sick.”
The district said Conway High School currently has the most coronavirus cases, with 19 positive tests among students and five employees who are in quarantine. The district will not say how many total students are being required to quarantine.