As of Dec. 29, DHEC said 31,511 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been administered to phase 1A individuals, with shots continuing to be administered each day.
DHEC said that on Dec. 28, South Carolina received 84,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine that are allocated to the CDC’s Long-Term Care Program. This federal program works with CVS and Walgreens pharmacies to provide vaccines to states’ long-term care facilities. DHEC has a limited role in this federal program, other than dedicating doses of South Carolina’s vaccine allotment to the program.
DHEC says an update on the doses of vaccine administered to South Carolina long-term care facilities through this federal program will be available soon.
DHEC says South Carolina is above the national average for vaccination administrations. State health officials say the statewide vaccination percentage per doses received by the federal government is at 31%. They say the national average is 19% and that South Carolina is nearly double that of other southeastern states.
- South Carolina: 35,158/112,125 (31%)
- North Carolina 63,500/323,125 (20%)
- Georgia: 52,242/372,900 (14%)
- Alabama: 20,354/128,175 (16%)
On Dec. 7, state health officials said that it was expecting about 200,000 to 300,000 initial doses of the vaccine from the federal government by the end of the year.
South Carolina State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell says the amount of time before everyone who would like to be vaccinated can receive the vaccine is unknown.
“We are calling on all South Carolinians to continue to be patient and understand that an endeavor like this will take many weeks to complete the initial phases and months to achieve our ultimate goal of coverage for the population,” Bell said. “When it’s my turn, I’ll be among the first in line waiting to receive the vaccine, but until then, I’ll continue to take the daily actions that protect myself, my loved ones and my community. It is incumbent upon each of us to wear our masks, stay physically distanced, get tested regularly and stay home if we’re ill with any symptoms.”
What’s next after phases 1A?
Earlier this month, Gov. Henry McMaster said the second half of the state’s first phase will include people living in settings such as prisons, jails and homeless shelters, as well as processing plants and other food production workers and utility employees. The governor said others included will be those aged 75 and older and people with two or more underlying health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease.
Among people to be prioritized in the state’s second phase are pharmacists, K-12 school employees, child care workers and food delivery workers.
The vaccine plan comes as virus cases are again rising sharply in South Carolina, straining hospitals and health care workers as hospitalizations are returning to levels not seen since the state’s last spike during the summer.
DHEC said it will continue to provide regular updates on COVID-19 vaccine in South Carolina. A new data element is being developed that will provide vaccine-specific data reporting on the COVID-19 webpage, and this is anticipated to be available on the website at the beginning of January. For current vaccine information, visit scdhec.gov/vaxfacts.
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