SCHA Statement on Expanding Vaccine Efforts
(Columbia, South Carolina – January 11, 2021) South Carolina’s hospitals support Governor McMaster’s announcement that citizens 70 and older are becoming eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. At this time, all vaccine allocated to South Carolina has been distributed or scheduled for administration. The state is currently receiving a weekly vaccine allocation and will administer it as quickly as possible. However, the ability of the state’s provider community to vaccinate people will be limited by our weekly allocation. This week South Carolina will also be bringing on 50 additional healthcare providers to become access points for the vaccine and South Carolina’s hospitals and health systems will continue to work with the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the provider community to get this vaccine to the people who need it.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Where should the public go for more information on receiving vaccine in South Carolina? DHEC has developed a vaccine website to help address questions related to the vaccine, and South Carolinians may also call the DHEC Care Line at 855-472-3432 to learn more about what phase they are in and when they will have an opportunity to receive the vaccine. In addition, DHEC is launching an online resource to help South Carolinians schedule an appointment.
- How long will it take to receive the vaccine? 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.
- How will hospital inpatients receiving the vaccine access their second dose? Hospitals that administer the first dose to an inpatient need to plan to give the second dose to that patient, even if they have been discharged, due to the logistical complexities surrounding the vaccines currently available. Scheduling a follow-up appointment for the second dose at the time of discharge will also help improve patients’ compliance with getting the second vaccine.
- How will older patients in nursing homes and long-term care providers access the vaccine? Patients in nursing homes and long-term care providers will receive the vaccine in the facility that is managing their care.
SCHA will continue to update the list of hospital contact information for healthcare workers and medical staff to schedule their vaccines. The state’s hospitals and health systems stand ready to vaccinate the people of South Carolina.