Number of appointments exceeds number of COVID-19 vaccine doses available

Number of appointments exceeds number of COVID-19 vaccine doses available
Covid-19 Vaccine (Source: WMBF)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) - After state officials made the announcement Monday that older South Carolinians could soon start making appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, South Carolina Hospital Association is reminding people of the limitations in vaccine availability.

“At this time, all vaccine allocated to South Carolina has been distributed or scheduled for administration,” the organization said in a statement.

As of Monday evening, DHEC had received 147,200 total doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, for the purposes of administering both first and second doses of vaccine. Only 60,458 doses remain, but nearly 97,000 appointments have been made in the state.

These numbers will foreseeably grow even further on Wednesday as individuals 70 years of age and older will be eligible to start signing up for their first dose of vaccine.

SCHA reiterated in the statement that the state is continuing to receive weekly vaccine allocations, but that state providers can only move as fast as their allocations allow. The agency added that people may have to book their vaccine appointment several weeks out.

“South Carolina is receiving a limited allocation of the vaccine each week and many hospitals have already filled their available appointments for the next few weeks. Securing an appointment will depend on vaccine availability and may take several weeks between scheduling and administration of the vaccine,” the agency said in a statement.

DHEC announced an additional 50 healthcare providers will also be onboarded so that they can begin providing vaccine doses starting next week.

The health agency originally rolled out an online interactive map for people to find providers who were taking appointments. It listed providers who were ‘green’ and available to take appointments, along with others listed as ‘red’ who were not able to be contacted. By late Monday afternoon, the resource was taken offline, a DHEC spokesperson saying providers were being called regardless of their green or red status.

DHEC stated this map will return online on Wednesday.

SCHA said they will continue to update their list of hospital contact information for frontline healthcare workers in Phase 1-A.

“The state’s hospitals and health systems stand ready to vaccinate the people of South Carolina,” SHCA said.

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