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SC leaders say COVID-19 vaccine roll out is too slow in rural areas

Senator Mike Fanning says the limited number of vaccine is forcing people to schedule multiple appointments or travel to different states.

SOUTH CAROLINA, USA — Problems continue for those trying to schedule an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine, and state leaders say it's even slower for those in rural areas. 

"The lack of planning at the state level is hurting everyone in South Carolina, which is why we are one the lowest rank states in vaccinations," said Senator Mike Fanning.

Fanning is the senator for Fairfield County. Like many leaders in South Carolina, he is working to get more vaccination sites across the state. On DHEC's website, areas like Fairfield County do not have vaccine sites. Fanning says this is forcing people to schedule appointments in different areas or in other states.

"If you're a smaller community that doesn't have a hospital, don't have access to the doses, and insurance carriers to cover your workers giving vaccinations, those are stumbling blocks that need to be statewide," explained Fanning.

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DHEC leaders met with the South Carolina Legislature Thursday to discuss efforts to increase vaccine distribution.

"We agree that changes need to be made. We also agree that it is not being moved quick enough into the community," DHEC's Acting Director, Marshall Taylor.

During DHEC's presentation, the acting director presented strategies and challenges to the legislature. Right now, Taylor is asking for the public's patience.

"It's there, and it's being moved," said Taylor. "However, the amount we are getting from the federal government is very small compared to the population from the folks in the different phases. Until the amount of the vaccine ramps up coming into the state significantly, the process is going to be a slow process."

RELATED: South Carolina ranks last for COVID-19 vaccinations per capita. How they plan to fix it

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