Feb 012021

The Rotary Club of Charleston is playing a critical role in a Covid Vaccine public/private partnership with Rotary District 7770 and all 3 local hospital systems, an effort that was pulled together in 7 days. The first pilot mass vaccine event was held on Friday, January 22 in the parking lot at Seacoast Church in Mount Pleasant, where more than 1,000 people were vaccinated. Qualified citizens 70 years or older and healthcare providers and caretakers filled the 1,032 appointment spots through the MUSC online system within 12 hours after it went live Wednesday afternoon. Twenty-five Rotary volunteers from across 6 Rotary Clubs in District 7770, including the downtown Charleston club’s President Lisa Van Bergen, Immediate Past President Sandy Morckel, Community Services Chair Virginia Lee and Community Services member Dr. Cleave Ham, along with District Governor Pauline Levesque filled the spots that were needed for the non-medical positions for this first pilot event. Rotary Club of Charleston member and Town of Mount Pleasant Councilman Howard Chapman was among those vaccinated. Non-medical roles like traffic control, assuring everyone had confirmed appointments and assisting the medical team in each of the 10 pods with supply refills were fulfilled by Rotarians. In return, the Rotary volunteers were given permission to receive their first Covid-19 Vaccine dose as the volunteer spots qualify them as “front line healthcare workers”. A second event will be held on February 12 at the same site where all vaccine participants will receive their second and final dose of the 2-dose Pfizer vaccine. Rotary District 7770 partnered with Rotary District 7750 to create a website to pre-register Rotarians and the general public throughout the state of South Carolina who want to help with the Covid vaccine rollout as events will eventually be scheduled at towns and cities across the state over the next 8-9 months. Go to www.rotaryready.com to register and encourage your friends and families to do the same. All volunteers must be 18 years or older. The partnership includes Rotary, DHEC, MUSC, Roper St. Francis Hospital, East Cooper Medical Center, the City of Charleston, Town of Mount Pleasant. It will eventually expand to other municipalities and healthcare systems in a statewide public/private collaboration to address the pandemic by reaching herd immunity when 85% of our population has been vaccinated as quickly as possible and restore our lives and economy. Sandy and Cleave from the Charelston Club serve on the Statewide Rotary Ready Task Force.

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