Researchers in the Clemson University Department of Public Health Sciences have received more than $450,000 in grant funding from the National Council on Aging to host vaccine clinics and provide vaccine education in medically underserved areas of South Carolina through the HOPE in SC project.
In partnership with The South Carolina Witness Project and other state and local organizations, HOPE in SC’s aptly named Dynamic Duo Initiative aims to increase access to COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations among people 65-years and older and populations of any age with a disability.
With the help of a mobile vaccination team from My Pharmacy and Optical, vaccine clinics will be held at various outdoor community events and indoor facilities like recreation centers, churches and senior centers statewide. In addition to COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations, team members will administer other vaccines based on individuals’ needs.
“Our goal for the Dynamic Duo Initiative is to serve people in communities across South Carolina who experience barriers to care and vaccination,” said Kathleen Cartmell, associate professor in the public health sciences department and principal investigator (PI) on the grant. “People often neglect preventative medicine because it is inconvenient, so we are bringing preventive medicine right to their doorstep.”
Cartmell and collaborators identified a need for public vaccination opportunities, as South Carolina’s COVID-19 and influenza vaccination rates are below the national average and infrastructure to support vaccination is often limited, especially in rural parts of the state.
“I am proud of the work Dr. Cartmell and her team are doing to make preventative health care accessible to all citizens,” said Leslie Hossfeld, dean of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences. “This grant and the initiative it supports addresses a critical need in South Carolina and fulfills our mission as a College to build healthly people and communities across the state.”
HOPE in SC is working with the South Carolina Immunization Coalition to identify opportunities for clinics and secure volunteers in areas of need. The first clinic will be held in the PeeDee region of South Carolina on July 31.
For more information, or to partner with HOPE in SC to host a community vaccine clinic, visit www.hopeinsc.org.
The Department of Public Health Sciences is in the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS). Established in July 2016, CBSHS is a 21st-century, land-grant college that combines work in seven disciplines – communication; nursing; parks, recreation and tourism management; political science; psychology; public health sciences; sociology, anthropology and criminal justice – to further its mission of “building people and communities” in South Carolina and beyond.
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