Q&A: Accessing COVID-19 vaccines for those over 70

Coronavirus

RN Connie Garcia extracts a dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine which will be administered to a Texas Tech University Health Science Center student at Texas Tech University Health Science Center’s Academic Building Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, in Odessa, Texas. (Jacob Ford/Odessa American via AP)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Hospital Association (SCHA) on Monday released information in response to Governor Henry McMaster’s announcement that South Carolinians over 70 years old will soon be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the SCHA, 50 additional providers will be brought on this week to “become access points for the vaccine.”

With the expansion of vaccine allocations, SCHA is working to ensure that the public is informed by providing answers to many commonly-asked questions.

Q: Where can people find more information?

A: The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has developed a website and phone line (855-472-3432) dedicated to vaccine-related information. On January 13, DHEC will launch a website dedicated to scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

Q: How long will it take to receive the vaccine?

A: Because the state is receiving “a limited allocation of the vaccine each week and many hospitals have already filled their available appointments for the next few weeks,” SCHA says that the process could take time. SCHA estimates that in some cases, there could be several weeks “between scheduling and administration of the vaccine.”

Q: How will hospital inpatients receiving the vaccine access their second dose?

A: This will depend on the hospital in which the individual is vaccinated. According to SCHA, “hospitals that administer the first dose to an inpatient need to plan to give the second dose to that patient” even if the patient has been discharged. Hospitals should schedule an appointment for the second dose at the time the patient is discharged.

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