National pharmacies in SC will have COVID-19 vaccines when Phase 2 begins

National pharmacies among those who will administer COVID-19 vaccines when Phase 2 begins

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The first Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines arrived in South Carolina on Monday, and they won’t be the last.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plan breaks down who will be vaccinated as more doses arrive, and how.

With the limited doses, the state is currently in Phase 1a of the plan, where frontline medical workers and long-term care residents will be prioritized

When a larger supply is available, the state will transition to Phase 2 and begin vaccinating the general public.

The plan states at that time South Carolina “will synchronize and coordinate vaccination efforts with federal pharmacy partners to improve vaccination coverage.”

The plan lists those partners as:

  • Walgreens – Servicing LTCFs in Phase 1
  • CVS – Servicing LTCFs in Phase 1
  • Walmart Stores, Inc. (including Sam’s)
  • The Kroger Store (i.e. Kroger, Harris Teeter, Fred Meyer, Frys, Ralphs, King Soopers, Smiths, City Market, Dillons, Marianos, Pick-n-Save, Copps, Metro Market)
  • Publix
  • Costco
  • Albertons Companies (i.e. Osco, Jewel-Osco, Albertsons, Albertsons Market, Safeway, Tom Thumb, Star Market, Shaws, Haggen, Acme, Randal’s, Cards, Market Street, United, Vons, Pavilions, Amigos, Lucky’s, Pak-n-Save, Sav-On)
  • Hy-Vee
  • Meijer
  • H-E-B
  • Retail Business Services (i.e., Food Lion, Giant Food, The Giant Company, Hannaford Bros Co, Stop & Shop)

Walgreens and CVS will begin administering vaccines immediately, serving Long Term Care Facilities (LTCFs).

The plan states the website Vaccinefinder.org will be used to help identify vaccine availability nearby when the general population begins receiving the vaccine in Phase 2.

It offers locations and times for vaccine administrations in the surrounding area.

DHEC is still enrolling providers, and earlier in December, State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said DHEC is making efforts to reach underserved communities.

“What we do understand is that initially, we won’t have enough supply. This is why there is the need for those difficult decisions about who will be first,” she said. “We are putting in place everything we can about to ensure access to the vaccine, to underserved areas and rural health care facilities, where they may be the only providers.”

She said it’s expected the transition to Phase 2 of the plan will take time.

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