By JAMES POLLARD
Associated Press/Report for America
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Vaccine skeptics got a lot of airtime at a Tuesday meeting of South Carolina lawmakers considering how to best counter future pandemics. Republicans on the state panel were receptive to speakers sewing doubt about vaccine safety and efficacy, as well as distrust in the scientific establishment. The listening session comes just one day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved updated COVID-19 vaccines in an attempt to temper any surge this fall. The United States is seeing an uptick in hospitalizations related to COVID-19 that is again prompting officials to consider preventative measures. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows an 18 percent increase in South Carolina COVID-19 hospital admissions over the last week.