ICYMI: South African COVID-19 variant found in S.C.; doctors discuss effectiveness of double-masking; J&J vaccine shows promising results

CDC recommends masks in public settings

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF/AP) – There were a number of developments in the fight against COVID-19 this week.

They included South Carolina being the first U.S. state to confirm cases of the South African variant, which health officials say appears to a more highly contagious version of the virus.

Due to the variants, health experts have been discussing the effectiveness of wearing two masks as opposed to one, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

On the vaccination front in S.C., the rollout continues to be slow due to a limited number of doses allocated to the states. Some places in the Carolinas have had to cancel appointments because of a drop in vaccine allocations.

Drop in vaccine allocations forces UNC Health Southeastern to postpone appointments

That is expected to change next week, following President Joe Biden’s announcement that a roughly 16% boost in deliveries to the states would begin.

Dr. Brannon Traxler, the interim public health director for the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, revealed on Wednesday that the boost in deliveries means the Palmetto State will receive an extra 10,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine starting next week.

As the rollout continues, some state leaders have been advocating for Gov. Henry McMaster to appoint a former adjutant general to oversee the vaccine distribution in S.C.

S.C. senator continues to urge McMaster to enact new position to speed up vaccine rollout

‘We must do better’: Horry County senator calls for changes to vaccine rollout

Then there are those who have been waiting to roll up their sleeves to receive their dose of the vaccine. Area hospitals have reported that thousands of inoculations have been administered across the Grand Strand.

One Horry County woman also encouraged people this week to be patient as S.C. continues moving through Phase 1A of the vaccine rollout.

Local resident shares vaccination story, encourages people to not lose faith in rollout process

Friday brought encouraging news on the vaccine front. Johnson & Johnson’s long-awaited vaccine appears to protect against COVID-19 with just one shot – not as strong as some two-shot rivals but still potentially helpful for a world in dire need of more doses.

DHEC RESOURCES TO HELP ANSWER QUESTIONS:

· COVID-19 Information Page

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