COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Everyone who is 16 and older may now get a COVID-19 vaccine in South Carolina.
It’s a milestone Nick Davidson, DHEC’s Senior deputy for public health, said South Carolina reached sooner than expected.
“This truly is a monumental feat,” Davidson said. “It speaks to everything that so many people in our state and across the nation, frankly, have been working to do; to be able to quickly develop and implement and then roll out an unprecedented vaccination program.”
Officials stressed there’s still not enough vaccine doses in the state for everyone who wants one, but they expect significant increases in supply this week that will help meet some of the new demand.
“We have significant additional vaccine coming into the state over the next week, so we’re really excited about that,” Davidson said.
Officials said the state is set to receive nearly 30,000 doses of the Janssen vaccine, which will go to independent pharmacies. The supply is up from a little over 5,000 last week. Officials added that the supply of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines also continues to increase.
“We believe anyone who wants their shot will not have to wait long or at all to get it,” Davidson said. “I want to reemphasize for those who get Pfizer or Moderna vaccine: Do not stop with your first dose, it is absolutely critical and crucial to return for your second dose.”
DHEC officials said it’s too early to know what demand has looked like since opening up vaccine eligibility. They have seen more demand in cities, while some rural clinics have had difficulty filling up all of their available appointments.
“We’ll take a look at where demand is highest and where it’s lowest, and we’ll work with providers to help make sure the vaccine gets to where it’s needed the most,” Davidson said. “We will also continue to reach out to our communities at a local level and work with our community partners and leaders, who are so absolutely central to this vaccination effort, to help understand where and why vaccine administrations would appear to be lacking.”
Davidson said the state reached another milestone Wednesday: 2 million vaccine doses administered across the state.
Officials said the state is on track as far as the rate of vaccinations when compared to other states. Over 30 percent of South Carolinians have received at least one dose of the vaccine.