S.C. state epidemiologist receives COVID-19 vaccine, says she has ‘utmost confidence in its safety and effectiveness’

Facts about the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – South Carolina State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell hopes others will follow suit after she rolled up her sleeve Tuesday morning to receive her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to a press release, Bell’s hope is others will quickly schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine once it’s their turn.

“We the have the opportunity to stop the ongoing devastation that COVID-19 has wreaked on our community,” Bell said. “It is all of our responsibility to do everything we can to protect ourselves and those we love from this deadly disease. By sharing with others that I am receiving the vaccine today, I hope that more South Carolinians will continue to step up and do their part by getting vaccinated.”

According to the release, DHEC continues to seek partnerships with independent medical practices, pharmacies, DHEC locations and other sites to ensure people include in Phase 1A who want to get the shot are able to do so.

Starting Wednesday, those in the state who are aged 70 and over will be able to make an appointment to receive their vaccine.

Gov. Henry McMaster previously announced that those in Phase 1A have until Jan. 15 to receive their vaccine or make an appointment to get it. Those 70 and older don’t have a deadline to get the vaccine at this time, according to DHEC.

“I have the utmost confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines,” Bell said. “However, until there is enough vaccine for all of us and enough people get vaccinated, we must continue to take actions we know work. That includes wearing our masks, maintaining physical distance, avoiding large gatherings, and washing our hands frequently.”

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