DHEC’s very own public health director, Dr. Brannon Traxler, lost her grandmother in May 2020 to COVID-19. DHEC supports the Surgeon’s General advisory and his desire to share how COVID-19 has affected his family. Murthy stated that he has lost 10 family members to COVID-19. “Vaccines weren’t available when my Meme died,” said Traxler in the release. “If they had been, I would have strongly encouraged her to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to stay healthy and here with us longer.”
In Murthy’s advisory, he used data from the Kaiser Family Foundation that said the percentage of unvaccinated individuals that have heard at least one myth about COVID-19 is 67%.
“Health misinformation is an urgent threat to public health. It can cause confusion, sow mistrust, and undermine public health efforts, including our ongoing work to end the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Murthy in the release. “As Surgeon General, my job is to help people stay safe and healthy, and without limiting the spread of health misinformation, American lives are at risk.” The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) “continues its call for Palmetto State residents to arm themselves with facts, then get a life-saving vaccine,” according to a news release.
For help with COVID-19 vaccine questions and provider information, call 1-866-365-8110. To find a vaccine location in S.C., visit DHEC’s Vaccine Locator website at vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approved for those 12 years of age and older while the Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines are approved for ages 18 and up.
DHEC data shows that during the first two weeks of June, more than 90 percent of cases and hospitalizations in South Carolina – and 100 percent of deaths – were among unvaccinated residents, according to the release. The number of South Carolina residents that have died from COVID-19 is now close to 9,900.
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