‘Moving at an unacceptable pace’: S.C. lawmakers form committee to review COVID-19 vaccine rollout

‘Moving at an unacceptable pace’: S.C. lawmakers form committee to review COVID-19 vaccine rollout
(Source: WAVE 3 News)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – Two South Carolina leaders announced on Monday the formation of a committee that will review the state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

House Speaker Jay Lucas and Chairman Weston Newton created a Legislative Oversight Ad Hoc Committee which will look over the Department of Health and Environmental Control’s distribution of the vaccine.

Lucas wrote a letter to Marshall Taylor, the acting director of DHEC, to say the rollout has not gone as well as many had hoped.

“We know that South Carolina is not alone in experiencing widespread frustration with the administering of vaccines, but it is apparent that as a state, we are moving at an unacceptable pace. It is imperative that the process that has been implemented by the Department be improved immediately,” Lucas wrote to Taylor.

In the letter, Lucas requests that Taylor and other DHEC leaders meet with members of the committee on Thursday to discuss the rollout and how the state can implement improvements.

“The purpose of the review is to obtain facts to help inform legislative policy decisions and identify actions that should be taken by the General Assembly, the Department and private providers to get vaccines to every South Carolinian, as quickly, efficiently and effectively as possible,” the letter states.

Leaders with DHEC have repeatedly said that the demand for the vaccine has outweighed the supply and that the supply from the federal government is insufficient.

South Carolina has been receiving about 63,000 doses a week, but data from the CDC shows that the state ranks last doses per capita. According to the CDC, South Carolina has received 6,808 doses per 100,000 people. Meanwhile, states like North Carolina and Georgia have received well over 9,000 doses per 100,000 people.

DHEC leaders have said they’ve been in touch with the CDC and Operation Warp Speed to figure out if the data is correct.

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