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BCCC to host vaccination clinics

The Beaufort County Health Department will hold two COVID-19 vaccination clinics in the Boyette Conference Center (Building 10) on Beaufort County Community College’s campus. The first clinic will take place on Monday, Aug. 16 from 1 – 3 p.m., the first day of fall classes, and a second one will take place on Thursday, Aug. 26 from 9 – 11 a.m. Recipients will have a choice between Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Both events are open to the public, and vaccines are available for anyone age 12 or older. The vaccines are free, but recipients are asked to bring a health insurance card if applicable, but no one will be turned away.

The clinics are part of Beaufort County Community College’s effort to promote vaccination in light of the recent surge in cases of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus. The college also reinstated its indoor mask rule in response to low vaccination rates and high rates of transmission in the college’s four-county service area. According to the CDC, only 48% of the eligible population is vaccinated in Beaufort County, and that rate is 38% in Washington County, 39% in Tyrrell County, and 58% in Hyde County. Except for Hyde County, BCCC’s service area is listed as having a “high” rate of community transmission.

According to the most recent data from the CDC, individuals who are fully vaccinated are 99.9% protected from hospitalization resulting from COVID-19, even if they contract the Delta variant. With the advent of the Delta variant, more than 95% of headcount hospitalizations and deaths have occurred in the unvaccinated population.

While the college will not be asking students, faculty, or staff to disclose their vaccination status, it encourages vaccination as students will be in proximity with other students who travel between high schools, workplaces, and homes with varying safety protocols.

Classes start on August 16, and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that is available for ages 12 and up requires a second dose after 21 days or three weeks for full efficacy. Broad vaccination among eligible individuals will also help protect individuals who cannot get vaccinated such as children under 12 and people with medical complications.