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Statement from Prisma Health on South Carolinians 4 Freedom Rally

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

On Aug. 23, individuals identified as part of “South Carolinians 4 Freedom” held a demonstration on the campus of Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital to protest mandatory COVID-19 vaccination of medical providers. This rally was not affiliated with Prisma Health. We do, however, respect the right of all people to state their views.  

While Prisma Health has not required our staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19, our position is clear: vaccination is the best way for members of our team – and for all members of the community – to protect themselves from the devastating impacts of COVID-19, especially the Delta variant. The vaccine has been proven safe and effective at preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19, and in a huge step forward, the Pfizer vaccine was approved by the Food and Drug Administration today.  

At Prisma Health, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our patients and our caregivers.  

We take seriously our responsibility for protecting those in our care, and importantly, those who provide that care.  

As of August 23, 2021, we currently have more than 430 patients, including children, across our hospitals who are being treated for COVID-19, with more than 90 percent of whom are unvaccinated. Unfortunately, we expect these numbers to increase, if not surpass, the numbers from January 2021 which was previously the height of the pandemic in our community. The increase has occurred at a much more rapid pace due to the Delta variant. 

We cannot stress this enough: the Delta variant is serious, and this surge is a rapidly evolving public health event. We are marshalling all of our resources and continuing to obtain guidance from national and local health authorities, as we continue to protect the health of our patients and of our healthcare team.  

Our number one priority, as it is every day, is ensuring all of our patients receive exceptional care, and Prisma Health is unwavering in its commitment to serve our communities.  

In the meantime, we continue to recommend vaccination against COVID-19 for all who are eligible. We also strongly encourage members of the community to continue public health protocols to reduce transmission of this highly transmissible virus, including hand washing, masking – especially when indoors – and social distancing.

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