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COVID vaccine clinic held in small Orangeburg County town

There are no locations currently to get the vaccine in the Town of North. The closest sites are in Neeses or Orangeburg.

NORTH, South Carolina — The COVID-19 shot has been hard to come-by in smaller, rural South Carolina areas like the Town of North. 

"People need to be vaccinated, and people need to be protected," North mayor Julius Jones said.

There are no locations currently to get the vaccine in the town of more than 700 people. The closest sites are in Neeses or Orangeburg.

"Transportation is an issue," Mayor Jones said. "It's going to cost if residents wanted to go to Orangeburg to get the vaccine. It's going to cost about $25 for someone to take somebody to Orangeburg to get a vaccine."

"We realize everyone doesn't have transportation, and not every family has a car," explained Family Health Care Center (FHC) CEO Leon Brunson. "That is very important to us, to take the vaccine to the community."

RELATED: Johnson & Johnson one-dose COVID vaccine arrives in South Carolina

FHC Inc. brought more than 100 shots to North, but they realize that is not enough. The company's CEO says the goal is to vaccinate 4,000 people weekly during these clinics in Orangeburg County. North residents like Rosalee Mack got her first shot Friday.

"It was easy," Mack explained. "My co-worker told me about it at work, about the clinic, so I came and got my shot."

Because of the shot, Mack says she was able to cancel an appointment set for next month that was 30 minutes away. She adds bringing more clinics to certain areas would be beneficial but hopes Orangeburg County leaders develop a ride system to get residents to the clinics.

"I hope they can get the neighbors to help the elderly that don't have a ride to get the vaccine, so they can have a place for them to get it," Mack said.

RELATED: SC governor drops mask requirement at restaurants, state government buildings