Charleston County employees required to get COVID-19 vaccines

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston County Council on Thursday voted 6-2 to require employees to get COVID-19 vaccines.

Employees are required to be fully vaccinated by October 24. Currently, a booster shot is optional.

“We must do what we can to mitigate COVID-19 and the Delta variant,” says Teddie Pryor, Chairman of Charleston County Council.

Council members like Henry Darby says was hesitant on this decision, but wanted an outcome that’ll benefit the health of children who are not able to receive vaccinations.

“It really affected my contemplation in terms of voting for the mandatory vaccination, but this is needed for helping children,” Darby says.

Chairman Pryor says with 54 county employees testing positive in the month of August, the requirement is also important for continuity of government operations.

“It’s a position of county council where I believe when I take an oath, I will do the best for the citizens of Charleston County,” Pryor says.

Council members says there will be exceptions made for religious or medical reasons those who are exempt will be subject to routine testing.

“At least once a week or twice a week to make sure that you are healthy enough to come in and requiring a mask at all times,” Pryor says.

Chairman Pryor says he hopes other local officials take the same precautions to keep staff healthy.

“We must do what we can to mitigate some of the spreading that’s going on,” he says.

Charleston County Emergency Management says they are working to make third booster available September 20th for county employees once there’s FDA approval.