Prisma Health holds virtual town hall on COVID, discusses research on virus variants

Prisma Health holds virtual town hall on COVID, discusses research on virus variants

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Prisma Health held a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday to help South Carolinians gain a better understanding of the COVID-19 vaccine and other virus related topics.

Prisma’s panel of doctors answered a number of questions from South Carolinians who tuned in.

“If you had COVID-19 and recovered, do you still need to get vaccinated?” asked Tammie Epps, Prisma’s media manager and moderator of the town hall.

“Yes, absolutely. That is a very important question and one we continue to hear more about,” answered Dr. Saria Saccocio.

Prisma experts also touched on the different COVID-19 variants being discovered around the world, including the South African variant which has just been found here in South Carolina.

“They’ve got all these fancy names. It’s just not clear how deadly they are,” said one Prisma doctor. “Some of them might be more deadly than the previous ones, some of them not, but they are more infectious.”

In their media briefing, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said that the existing vaccines will work to protect the public from this variant. However, Prisma doctors explained that research is still being done.

“The vaccine works or seems to work on the UK variant. It may not be very effective of the South African variant,” said the Prisma doctor. “Moderna is in the process of tweaking its vaccine so that it can treat some of the other variants.”

Other topics discussed in the town hall included vaccine apprehension and South Carolina’s vaccine distribution.

“We have the capacity to vaccinate 10,000 people per day. However, we are not receiving that level of supply as we hear the entire state only receives 63,000 to be available to the public per week,” said Saccocio.

Prisma said they hope this town hall will help to build a better understanding of COVID-19 within communities.

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