Prisma Health: 56 of 59 on ventilators with COVID-19 unvaccinated; Crestwood High is hosting vaccine event Friday


As hospitals across the state begin implementing surge plans to make room for more beds and open new floors, a Sumter vaccination event has a goal to combat the numbers.

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine, which was fully approved by the Food and Drug Administration on Monday, will be offered for free at Crestwood High School, 2000 Oswego Highway, on Friday, Aug. 27, between 6 and 10 p.m. Anyone who is 12 or older can get the Pfizer vaccine, while adults 18 and older can also choose to receive the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. All recipients will receive a gift card, while supplies last.

Dr. Brannon Traxler, public health director for the state Department of Health and Environmental Control, said in a media briefing Wednesday that hospitalizations from COVID-19 are continuing to trend upward.

As of Aug. 25, staff at Prisma Health, which has hospitals in the Upstate and Midlands, including Sumter's Tuomey Hospital, were caring for 430 patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Of them, 107 needed intensive care. Of the 59 on ventilators, only three are vaccinated.

As of Aug. 23, 46.8% of South Carolina residents were fully vaccinated. In Sumter County, that number drops to 35.6%.