COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) – As South Carolina lags behind the rest of the country in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, some rural health clinics will finally get their doses.
Depending on where you live, you may have to travel far to get the coronavirus vaccine. Here’s how many locations are giving the vaccine right now, according to the vaccine locator on the state Department of Health and Environmental Control’s (DHEC) website:
- Horry County – 16 locations
- Florence County – 5 locations
- Georgetown County – 3 locations
- Darlington County – 2 locations
- Dillon County – 1 location
- Marion County – 1 location
- Chesterfield County – 1 location
Marlboro County, which doesn’t have a hospital, also doesn’t have a vaccine location. There may be help soon, as DHEC says rural health clinics will start receiving doses this week.
The first step is vaccinating healthcare workers at those clinics.
“Many of them may already be vaccinated from other locations,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, who’s the interim public health director of DHEC. “They will begin vaccinating those who are in phase 1a.”
The vaccine is going to federally qualified health centers, which are clinics dedicated to underserved communities. There are four in our part of the state: CareSouth Carolina, Health Care Partners of South Carolina, Little River Medical Center and HopeHealth.
This comes as the CDC says South Carolina is last in the U.S. in vaccine doses received per capita.
“Right now, we are only getting the same amount that we’ve been getting weekly since the vaccine rollout began and we have not been told to expect anything differently for the foreseeable future,” Dr. Traxler said.
Dr. Traxler also says there are no plans to use testing sites for vaccinations because how much COVID-19 is spreading.
“Particularly given the high case counts and especially the high percent positivity [rate] that we’re seeing throughout the state, there still is a lot of disease out there and we need to combat that,” she said.
In addition to being last in doses received, South Carolina is towards the bottom nationally in giving the vaccine, as the state is 49th in people receiving one or two doses per capita.