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Residents thankful for COVID-19 vaccine drive-thru clinic at pharmacy on Aiken's Southside

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An Aiken pharmacy held an appointment-only drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine clinic Thursday.

Family Pharmacy, located at 110 Price Ave., vaccinated around 150 people throughout the day. Appointments started around 9 a.m. and went until 4:15 p.m.

This is the third clinic the pharmacy has held, said Stuart Johnson, the pharmacy's vice president of operations. Johnson expected traffic to be steady throughout the day and said Family Pharmacy will continue to hold these clinics as long as the vaccine availability is there.

Johnson said the appointments for the clinic are made through the Vaccine Administration Management System, or VAMS, like all other vaccine appointments. The appointments for Thursday's clinic were booked within 30 minutes of being open for scheduling.

Claire Ramey got her first vaccine dose at the clinic and said she thinks it's very important to get the vaccine.

“For months and months and months, I didn’t know anyone who even had (COVID-19)," Ramey said. "In the last month or so, a very good friend of ours has died from it. My son-in-law, today is his 17th day in the hospital with it."

Local resident Liz Neal also got her first dose on Thursday and said it didn't hurt at all. Neal said she's a health care worker who works with the elderly so she wanted to get the vaccine to protect herself, as well as the people with whom she works.

Residents did not have to leave their vehicles to get the shot. After receiving the injection, they waited in their cars in the parking lot for 15 minutes to ensure that they didn't have an adverse reaction.

To sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment online, residents must have a VAMS account. They sign into the VAMS portal website and can see available appointments at various locations.

To see which locations are offering vaccine appointments, residents can visit the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control's vaccine locator website to see locations offering appointments across the state and how to sign up for them.

Residents who do not have online access can call DHEC's Care Line at 855-472-3432.

When residents receive their first vaccine dose, DHEC has told providers to schedule the second dose during the first appointment.

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