COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina’s limited COVID-19 vaccine supply continues to be a prominent issue for health officials as they work to vaccinate as many people as possible.
The state remains in the very first phase of its vaccine rollout plan -- phase 1A.
On Wednesday, officials with the Department of Health and Environmental Control gave an update on what to expect when it comes to the vaccine moving forward, saying the state will see a 16% increase in the weekly shipment of first vaccine doses beginning next week.
Health officials said they got word from the federal government on Tuesday that South Carolina would be receiving an increase in first doses, which will bring around 10,000 more vaccines to the state.
DHEC’s Interim Director Dr. Brannon Traxler said the increase comes from an additional allotment of the Moderna vaccine and will bring the state’s weekly total of first doses to about 72,000.
“While modest in number, the increase in the Moderna doses will help further our efforts to vaccinate as many people as possible, as soon as possible,” Traxler said.
It’s an effort that Traxler said is going well, with DHEC touting that recent data shows South Carolina ranks 10th in the nation for the number of doses administered compared to the total number of doses received.
“While South Carolina, like other states, currently faces limited supplies of vaccines, DHEC continues to work with the governor, the South Carolina Hospital Association, South Carolina Medical Association, hospitals, and other key providers to help get vaccines into the arms of South Carolinians as quickly as possible,” Traxler said.
One of those partners, Prisma Health, announced they will resume walk-ins at select vaccination sites in Columbia, Sumter, Greenville, Laurens, Oconee, and Grier. Those locations are:
- Gamecock Park, 22 National Guard Road, Columbia
- Kmart site at 1 Kmart Plaza, Greenville
- Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital
- Prisma Health Greer Memorial Hospital
- Prisma Health Laurens County Hospital
- Prisma Health Oconee Memorial Hospital
To see a full list of the hours for each location, click or tap here. People may also call 833-2PRISMA (833-277-4762) with questions about the vaccine process.
This decision comes just five days after they stopped allowing walk-ins because of the low supply of the vaccine at their facilities.
Prisma Health officials stressed that the walk-ins will only be allowed on the basis of availability, but said they felt it was important to have this as an option as well for those who don’t have access to email or a computer.
To find other vaccination sites across the state, or to make an appointment, click or tap here.
“We recognize that appointments just aren’t enough,” Dr. Saria Saccocio, Prisma Health’s Chief Ambulatory Medical Officer and the co-chair of Prisma’s Vaccine Task Force. “We have so many individuals that otherwise would not have access to this life-saving vaccine, and so for that reason, we are taking on the day to day balance of scheduled appointments and those that need walk-in assistance so we will continue to update the community on where we are with that walk-in availability, but ensuring that we do both”
- DHEC addresses how some hospitals are vaccinating people under age 70
- Prisma Health, state partners open regional COVID-19 recovery units
- As vaccine supply remains limited, DHEC works to create new vaccine scheduling system
- DHEC on 2nd doses: ‘Make your second appointment while you’re at your first appointment’
Dr. Saccocio said they have the infrastructure to vaccinate 10,000 a day, but only received 19,500 doses from DHEC this week. She said there’s still an extremely limited supply of the vaccine and that anyone with an appointment or getting their second dose will be guaranteed.
“Our goal is to take walk-ins every single day,” Saccocio said. “Now of course walk-ins will be limited, so this will be managed on a daily basis.”
Saccocio said that beginning tomorrow they will be posting updates on their website as to the availability of walk-ins for each site but is asking for the public’s patience as supply continues to be a problem.
Traxler said DHEC expects their vaccine-only call center to be launched by the end of this week. She said DHEC is working to launch the vaccination appointment portal as quickly as possible, but she wasn’t able to confirm whether that would be ready this week.