MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – WMBF News has asked viewers to submit the questions they have about how a COVID-19 vaccine will be distributed in South Carolina.
Those questions have been posed to members of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and these are their responses.
Will South Carolinians up for vaccination have a choice as to which vaccine they want to take (this implies there will be several available - is that expected to happen)?
A: Yes. It’s important to understand that the vaccine will require two shots and individuals will need to receive both doses of the same brand of vaccine. You won’t be able to mix between two different vaccine brands. Once vaccine becomes available for the general public, South Carolinians will be able to see where specific vaccine brands are located.
Will DHEC be providing information on the differences and/or the ingredients of each vaccine?
A: This information will be made available by the vaccine manufacturer and the federal government, and DHEC will share that information on our COVID vaccine webpage.
Will all providers follow some kind of set plan for vaccine administration?
A: Enrolled providers must meet all requirements set forth in the COVID-19 provider enrollment application.
Looking ahead, if you regularly have your prescriptions filled at a select pharmacy, said pharmacy becomes a provider, and a South Carolinian falls within the high-risk group identified in Phase 1, will providers set aside a dose and make contact with the individual, or will it be first come/first served?
A: This is yet to be determined as states don’t yet know how much of the vaccine they will initially be allotted.
Will the dosage allocation to the state and then from DHEC to providers be based at all on a formula that includes positivity rate, transmission rates and overall population?
A: While dosing allocations haven’t been determined at this time, it’s our understanding that the CDC will allocate vaccines to states based on population. Neither the CDC nor DHEC plan to use positivity rates or transmission rates in making allocations. DHEC will provide guidance on who can be vaccinated based on allocations.
How will DHEC ensure that during Phase 1 only those individuals identified within Phase 1 are being vaccinated? Is there some kind of honors system that providers will be using while administering vaccinations?
A: Vaccine providers are required to enter certain data for individuals vaccinated, and any seemingly inappropriate use will be looked in to.
Any possibility of antibody testing being a prerequisite before someone receives the vaccine in order to preserve the limited number of available doses for those who most need it?
A: Current vaccination guidance includes those who have been previously infected with COVID-19. The possibility of vaccinating such individuals in a later phase is currently in discussion.