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Local community pleased with Windsor vaccination clinic

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Windsor played host to a COVID-19 vaccination clinic Thursday and locals were pleased with the results.

The clinic was held at the Windsor Fire Department as a collaboration between Rural Health Services and Aiken Electric Cooperative. Nursing students from Aiken Technical College administered the shots to a few hundred residents.

Carolyn Emanuel-McClain, CEO of Rural Health Services, visited the site and said it was exciting to be able to provide vaccines to a rural community like Windsor.

"We’ve heard so much in the news about how rural, underserved areas are struggling to get the vaccine," Emanuel-McClain said. "We wanted our first event to be in a rural underserved area, and Windsor was just the ideal place because we had also people from up here that wanted us to have it."

Emanuel-McClain said the reception from the community has been fantastic.

Gary Stooksbury, CEO of Aiken Electric Cooperative, said he was very pleased with the turnout. He said Aiken Electric had received inquiries from Windsor residents that some people didn't have internet access in order to be able to sign up for the vaccine.

Stooksbury said S.C. Rep. Bill Taylor, R-Aiken, also contacted him regarding this issue to see if there was anything Aiken Electric could do to help. Celine Mitchell, the information systems manager at Aiken Electric, and IT team set up old computers at the Windsor Fire Department in order to run the clinic.

"It just sort of fit," Stooksbury said.

Gregg Nelson was volunteering at the clinic and received his vaccine Thursday. Nelson said it wasn't as bad as he expected.

"It was a quick prick in the arm and that was it," Nelson said.

Nelson said it's a benefit to receive the vaccine because it will help keep him and his family safe.

"I’ve been tested about three or four times now, and each test has been negative," Nelson said. "But, I do know folks who have tested positive, I know folks who have died from COVID. It feels important to protect myself and protect my family."

Windsor Mayor Michael Dunbar said it was great to have the clinic and it's a "milestone for the town of Windsor."

Dunbar's wife, Lisa, is a town council member and she said she's very thankful the clinic was able to happen.

"In the rural areas, we don’t get a lot of stuff they can get within the town," Dunbar said.

Emanuel-McClain said Rural Health Services will be holding more clinics in the future, including one on Thursday, Feb. 18, at Second Baptist Church in Aiken. Residents can sign up for the clinic under the COVID-19 tab on Rural Health Services website at www.ruralhs.org.

"We will eventually take care of Aiken County, one way or the other," Emanuel-McClain said. "We will continue to vaccinate until we don’t get any more calls for vaccination."


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