COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Prisma Health announced on Thursday they are consolidating the number of vaccine sites across the state.
It comes as vaccine shortages and delays in shipments are causing vaccine providers across the state to scramble this week.
Prisma Health officials said this week’s vaccine shipments aren’t arriving at their sites on time or in the amounts they were expecting.
“We do have the capacity to administer 10,000 doses a day in our system; we just need the supply,” Prisma Health’s Vaccine Task Force Co-Chair Dr. Saria Saccocio said.
Saccocio said because of the shortages, they will be closing down six of their 12 vaccination sites over the next three weeks.
This means some scheduled appointments will be moved to new locations.
“While these changes are primarily due to limited vaccine supply, again severely limited vaccine supply, this also allows us to serve patients more efficiently,” Saccocio said.
In the Columbia area, appointments already scheduled at Baptist Parkridge and Richland hospitals will soon move locations.
Beginning Feb. 22, all appointments scheduled at Baptist Parkridge will move to Baptist Hospital in Columbia.
Also starting that day, all appointments scheduled at Richland will move to the Gamecock Park vaccination site.
In other parts of the state, appointments at Hillcrest and Patewood will transfer to Kmart in Greenville beginning on Feb. 15.
Kmart will also become the site for vaccine appointments scheduled at Baptist Easley beginning Feb. 22 and Greer Memorial beginning March 1.
As of March 1, Prisma said its primary vaccination sites will be:
- Gamecock Park and Baptist Hospital in Columbia,
- Toumey Hospital in Sumer,
- Oconee Memorial Hospital in Seneca,
- The Ridge in Laurens County,
- Kmart in Greenville (, Baptist Easley and Greenville Memorial).
Prisma Health officials said moving forward, there will be no more walk-ins for first doses and only limited second dose walk-ins.
Saccocio said Prisma Health requested 58,000 doses this week, but they were allotted 37,000.
“However, so far this week we’ve only received 17,550 of those doses,” Saccocio said. “So only about half of those vaccines have actually arrived on our vaccination sites to deliver those shots in arms.”
She said that about two-thirds of the vaccine they are receiving are allocated for second doses.
Saccocio said that she’s told some of the delays in shipments this week might be due to inclement weather, but said delays make planning for appointments extremely difficult.
“We have been challenged with vaccine supply,” Saccocio said. “Our vaccine supply did not show up as confirmed. We have adjusted and juggled and, as a health system, have distributed that vaccine to reach as many people as possible. For that reason, we have had significant delays in the waiting time because patients that were rescheduled or had appointments canceled because no vaccine was available are now being accommodated.”
Saccocio also said that part of the confusion this week has been a change in the way vaccines are coming into the state.
DHEC officials said Wednesday they are placing orders for first doses on Thursdays and second doses on Sundays, which is why providers now receive their first doses beginning on Monday and don’t receive any second doses until at the earliest Wednesday.
Also, at least 14 providers across the state have had shipment delays from Pfizer, state health officials said.
MUSC officials said they received a small shipment Wednesday and were expecting another Thursday but have had to reschedule appointments daily due to the shortages.
To find out more information about vaccinations at Prisma, and to make an appointment, click or tap here.