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South Carolina organizations looking to join DHEC's vaccine outreach program

The agency will partner with local organizations raise vaccine awareness through a $5 million grant assistance program.

ORANGEBURG, S.C. — The NAACP Orangeburg Branch's president, Barbara Williams, believes taking part in DHEC's assistance program will help put shots in more people's arms. 

"We're going to try to go door-to-door, post on our websites. We're going to post notices to the media, and whatever else we need to do to get the word out to people to get the vaccine," Williams said. "We started with a hundred and twenty people for a while, then the numbers dropped. We're looking for high numbers. If we don't get it, we believe getting people to vaccine clinics is still important."

DHEC launched a $5 million grant assistance program to fund enhanced community vaccine awareness. DHEC expects to award up to 25 grants totaling up to five million dollars for six months. Each award is expected to last for six months and can be renewed up to three times for two years. However, the number of organizations to get the grant depends on how many applications are submitted.

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Grant initiatives will include:

  • Distributing DHEC informational materials
  • Conducting safe in-person or virtual sessions with the community
  • Using social media to advertise messages to reach particular populations 
  • Provide transportation to those who want to get vaccinated

Williams says that money could help the NAACP host more one-stop shop clinics throughout Orangeburg County for residents to get tested and vaccinated. The organization is planning to have a vaccine clinic on July 31st at the First Providence in Santee.

"We know the numbers are rising again, so what we want to do is make sure those numbers are kept down," Williams said. 

DHEC is accepting applications from now until August 5th. 

RELATED: Churches and the vaccine outreach effort in South Carolina