Vaccines offered at Labor Day clinic at Dreher Island State Park

Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 7:17 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Maybe the only thing better than spending a sunny Labor Day like Monday outside is getting to do it for free.

People who got vaccinated at a clinic at Dreher Island State Park in Prosperity on Monday also got their park admission waived.

But for the seven people who took advantage of the deal during the three-hour mobile clinic, it wasn’t the free admission that convinced them to get their shots.

“I had been skeptical, but I’m just tired about reading about deaths every day,” said David Coates of West Columbia.

Coates, his wife, and two daughters had been looking for something to do on their Labor Day off, and Coates said the COVID-19 vaccine had been on his mind, with two of those deaths hitting close to home.

“I got a coworker, and his mother passed away from it, and a friend of mine from years back, his wife just passed away maybe two weeks ago, at 40, and it’s just — it’s scary,” he said.

For another man who was vaccinated at Monday’s mobile clinic, run by My Pharmacy & Optical of Lexington, reports about hospitals filling up — and who is occupying those beds — are what brought him to the Dreher Island clinic.

On Monday, the hospital closest to the park, Lexington Medical Center, reported more than 90% of its current COVID patients are unvaccinated.

Coates wants to stay out of there.

“I don’t like going to the doctor at all,” he said. “I just wanted to do the one-shot and done, so I just did the Johnson & Johnson.”

While his wife, Mandi, is already vaccinated, and his younger daughter isn’t eligible yet because of age, Coates’ older daughter got her shot Monday as well.

“It’s just been a priority for me,” Mandi Coates said. “At first, I wasn’t going to get my oldest daughter vaccinated, but then seeing everything and all the kids that are getting sick, we decided, and she decided too, to go ahead and get vaccinated this year.”

While Labor Day is already a day to rest for many, the Coates family said it would rest even better Monday night.

“I know the vaccine isn’t 100%, but everything that we can do, every person that can go out and get vaccinated, let’s do it for each other,” Mandi Coates said.

My Pharmacy & Optical is offering vaccines for free seven days a week at its pharmacy at 808 Highway 378.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. People can register for a vaccine here.

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