During the last month, COVID-19 vaccination rates in South Carolina have begun to see a decline. While nearly half of South Carolina residents have at least one vaccination, only 38 percent have received their full vaccination.
In an effort to help boost those numbers, the UofSC College of Pharmacy will take part in the Juneteenth Freedom Festival on Saturday, June 19 at Dutch Square Mall to support an on-site health clinic, sponsored by the Joseph H. Neal Health Center Collaborative. The clinic will offer COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, along with diabetes screening and information about sickle cell disease. Pharmacists and pharmacy students from the College of Pharmacy will be available to help answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.
The event is supported through Pharmacists for Healthier Lives, a national awareness campaign led by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.
Pharmacists are among the most trusted messengers to help increase vaccine confidence and in a unique position to alleviate concerns about vaccine safety and efficacy and to provide the public with information about the importance of receiving vaccinations. Pharmacists are also among America's most accessible health care professionals.
This event in particular will allow us to go out into the community and interact with patients where they are most comfortable.
Jordan Cooler, assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Outcomes Sciences, is among several pharmacy faculty supporting the initiative and believes it is important for both pharmacists and students to provide education and increase access to care.
“This event in particular will allow us to go out into the community and interact with patients where they are most comfortable,” Cooler says. “Additionally, it will expose our students to opportunities to communicate with patients and address questions or concerns outside of the pharmacy, hospital, or clinic setting.”