ALLENDALE COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) — A major push is underway to bring vaccines to rural areas of South Carolina. The effort is spearheaded by U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, who is working with the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. Eight mass vaccinations are opening this month in Hampton, Allendale and Bamberg counties.
“It is my hope that every American will get vaccinated as soon as they are able so that we may save lives and ultimately defeat this virus,” Clyburn said. “I am pleased that many of these vaccination sites will be utilizing mobile vaccine clinics. Rural communities and communities of color have been disproportionally affected by the current public health crisis. That is why I have been vocal in my support of mobile sites for testing and vaccination. Many of these communities also lack access to reliable internet service, which is why we have chosen not to require appointments for these sites. These mobile sites allow us to reach our most vulnerable communities, which improves health outcomes and get those hit hardest by this virus back on track.”U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn
The vaccine rollout began slowly in towns, like Fairfax, in Allendale County. Residents traveled over an hour to Charleston, Columbia and other areas to get vaccinated. On Friday, they did not have to look far. A free clinic opened in the heart of town. Appointments were not required.
“It was very nice and convenient,” Kenyarda Smith says. “It was easy to get in and out. I feel a whole lot better now that I’ve gotten the vaccine.”
Healthcare providers, like Lowcountry Healthcare System, have worked to vaccinate the community. As of Friday, 2,412 people in Allendale County had received at least one dose of the vaccine, which is more than a quarter of the county’s population. Morgan Reuis, Lowcountry Healthcare System’s marketing coordinator, tells NewsChannel 6 demand for vaccine is now “going down.”
“We’re really getting to the population and getting it done,” she says.
Upcoming vaccination clinics
Monday, April 19th: Bamberg County Courthouse Annex, 1234 North Street, Bamberg, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Tuesday, April 20th: Denmark Technical College, 1126 Solomon Blatt Blvd., Denmark, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.