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The State newspaper has created an interactive map to better help South Carolina residents find where to book their COVID-19 vaccinations while a third wave of cases sweeps the nation.
Data provided by the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control shows that South Carolina lags behind most states with just 40% of its resident fully vaccinated and most new infections are from unvaccinated individuals. Nationally, 49.8% of people are vaccinated.
“Unvaccinated people are the reason the pandemic is ongoing,” Brannon Traxler, a doctor and DHEC Public Health Director said in a Thursday news release. “Nearly 9,900 South Carolinians have lost their lives to COVID-19, and those individuals would have given anything to have access to a vaccine that could’ve saved their lives, as we all have today.”
McClatchy’s interactive tool allows people to find locations around the state that currently offer covid vaccinations and also shows where appointments are unavailable and shows which vaccines are provided.
Since lockdowns first started in March 2020, the nation has been coping with the pandemic which has resulted in mask mandates, protests and school closures. But the recent spike could threaten progress made over the past few months.
South Carolina has seen the most new coronavirus cases and highest positivity rate this week since February.
The CDC and state health professionals have come out this week and said they strongly recommend that all individuals, including those who are vaccinated, to wear masks again when in public settings and schools to limit the spread of the virus. The vaccine, however, remains the best tool to stop the spread of the virus, they say.
“Vaccines have been saving lives and protecting people from death and illness for generations,” Traxler said. “Just like vaccines have been overwhelmingly successful in saving populations from polio, tetanus, hepatitis, measles, whooping cough, the flu and many other diseases, we have lifesaving vaccines available that protect us from COVID-19 today.”