DHEC exploring data on who’s not getting vaccinated in SC, changes views on walk-in clinics

Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 6:30 PM EDT
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HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - While everyone 16 and older is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in South Carolina, not everyone is doing so.

Now, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is looking at who’s still hesitant and why.

DHEC officials spoke Friday about how demand statewide is slowing down, but supply is now stable.

Dr. Brannon Traxler, Public Health Director at DHEC, said there’s not just one group who’s sitting out on vaccines. Due to that, she said the agency now has to change their marketing of the vaccine to each group.

Traxler also said many people are still hesitant about getting the vaccine for different reasons.

“DHEC is doing a deep dive into that data so that we can get a clearer picture of what’s going on,” she said. “What populations are getting vaccinated at the highest rates, and which ones are more hesitant so we can work on encouraging those folks getting this life-saving preventative measure.”

As of Friday, more females than males have been vaccinated among all eligible age groups.

Traxler said younger adults aged 16-24 have been vaccinated the least amount, but added that DHEC is working to close that gap.

“We have been looking on a local level at partnering with some of those different entities,” she said. “Be they some of the institutes of higher education or other locations where you would see significant numbers of young adults gathered so we are looking at that as options.”

Earlier in the vaccine rollout, health officials were also against providers not taking appointments and hosting walk-in clinics.

Now, many walk-in clinics pop up throughout the state, such as an upcoming clinic set to be hosted by Conway Medical Center.

Traxler said now that vaccine supply is more steady, walk-ins can be better accommodated across the state.

“We have seen significant increases in our supply,” she said. “So that has allowed not only more people to get vaccinated at each site each day but it has allowed more and more providers to have access to vaccine and to vaccinate.”

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