DHEC: Surging cases overwhelming health care system, slowing down vaccine distribution

Updated: Jan. 4, 2021 at 11:17 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Right now health care workers in South Carolina are fighting two battles at the same time.

“We are seeing a lot more sick people and it really is putting that burden and strain on our health care system,” DHEC Interim Public Health Director Dr. Brannon Traxler said.

While cases continue to surge and hospitalizations climb in our state, nurses and doctors are now pulling double duty trying to vaccinate their staff while still saving lives.

“Certainly if there were fewer people getting sick from COVID-19 and having to be admitted and taking care, that would be more energy and attention that could be focused on vaccination,” said Traxler.

Traxler also pointed to staffing shortages as a possible factor in slowing the vaccine rollout in the state.

“That, in turn, takes away staffing and resources from those entities being able to focus on vaccination,” said Traxler.

DHEC health leaders ask South Carolinians to take this virus seriously so the focus can shift to vaccine distribution.

“The biggest way we can recruit vaccine staff is by doing our part to stop transmission so we can take that burden off of the health care facilities and providers,” said Traxler.

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