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University Hospital opens Aiken County clinic to vaccinate community

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:32 PM EST
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Another one of our hospitals is crossing the river to help people get vaccinated in South Carolina.

University Hospital had its first vaccine clinic in Aiken County on Tuesday, with hundreds of people coming out the get their vaccine shot.

Now both University and Augusta University Health are vaccinating people in the Palmetto State.

At Millbrook Baptist Church, they are trying to make giving out vaccinations as simple as possible. You just pull into the parking lot, roll down your window, make sure you’re on the list, and then go inside.

While it was the first day of the clinic here, University is no stranger to vaccinations.

“We are here in this community every day,” Scott Ansede with University Hospital said. “It was important to us, just as we are doing in Augusta, to make sure that we get this vaccine to the patients who are most at risk and most needed.”

Ansede helped organize the clinic. This clinic is a partnership effort between University and Rural Health Services.

“It’s our job to reach out into the community and address any health need that is out there,” Carolyn Emanuel-McClain said.

Rural Health Services provided the vaccine and University made the clinic happen. Emanuel-McClain says her organization brings trust.

“There are transportation issues and again just knowing where the events are located,” she said. “When they come to us for their primary care, we are promoting this.”

More than 750 people received a shot today, helping fill a void due to a lack of clinics west of Columbia.

“You’d go online, and they would all be closed. It would start at 6 o’clock, and it would all be finished by 6:15.

That is Ken and Jeanette Goad, a pair who finally found an appointment through their doctor’s office. And now they can’t wait to see their grandchildren.

And with the success of this first clinic, University sees hope for more clinics across Aiken County.

“As long as we get the supply of vaccines, we will make sure we get them in arms,” Ansede said.

This is the first of many clinics University plans to host in Aiken County in the next several months. There’s one scheduled for next Thursday right there at the Millbrook Baptist Church.

University Hospital says they are looking at doing clinics in North Augusta soon as well.

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