The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control updated the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. South Carolina has now received a total of 116,125 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Spartanburg’s first vaccinations were injected last week in the arms of doctors and nurses at Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. 36,511 doses have been administered to phase 1a so far.
As part of Operation Warp Speed, the government delegated to Walgreens and CVS to vaccinate residents in nursing homes. CVS and Walgreens are now administering vaccines at nursing homes in South Carolina. Doses will continue to be administered each day and the state expects new shipments of the vaccine each week, according to state officials.
Go Upstate reported that vaccinations started in Spartanburg County nursing homes. Those owned by SRHS get priority. Residents and associates at Ellen Sagar Nursing Center in Union County and Woodruff Manor, according to hospital officials.
Summit Hills senior living community in Spartanburg will vaccinate employees today. Summit Hills plans to vaccinate roughly 160 residents along with its employees.
“We are extremely excited and blessed to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to our residents and staff,” Regina Fargis, the community’s executive director said in a statement. “The pandemic is far from over outside of Summit Hills; but for our residents and staff, the end is finally near.”
Consent and Delay
DHEC announced that South Carolina’s vaccine rollout plan is moving faster than the national average. The state has administered 31% of their received doses so far. The national average stands at 19%, according to DHEC.
The process of obtaining consent for the vaccinations from either the residents or the patient’s family should have been done months ago.
“South Carolina… has faced several challenges due to the unique requirements of the mass distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine,” DHEC release said. “Challenges to date include limited supplies of vaccine during the phased rollout, complex logistics and adapting to changes in federal guidance. DHEC anticipates additional challenges to evolve but is confident that with collaborative problem solving and support of our partners we will meet each new challenge head on.”
Since receiving the first doses of the vaccine on Dec. 14, DHEC says it hopes South Carolinians do their part by getting vaccinated. As more information becomes available, DHEC will update its website at scdhec.gov/vaxfacts.
South Carolina remains in ‘Phase 1A’ of the vaccine rollout plan, which covers medical workers, first responders and long-term care facilities. It’s unclear when DHEC will initiate ‘Phase 1B’, which broadens who can get vaccinated. State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell is calling on everyone to “be patient”.