CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- New data from the Centers for Disease Control shows South Carolina ranked second to last in vaccine roll-out. State health leaders say they are working twice as hard to overcome that hurdle.
They say demand is at an all-time high; especially since adding individuals seventy and older to the 1-A list. Dr. Danielle Scheurer from the Medical University of South Carolina says they are fighting a two-pronged battle.
“There are two constraints. One is how much vaccine do we have and the second is how many team members do we have to do the vaccinations,” says Dr. Sheurer.
According to Dr. Scheurer, MUSC is vaccinating about 3,000 to 4,000 people each day.
“Our goal is to get to 10,000 vaccines a day assuming vaccine supply allows for that,” she says.
According to the CDC, South Carolina has administered approximately 6,700 doses of the vaccine per 100,000 residents. In comparison, Alaska has administered about 20,000 doses of the vaccine per 100,000 residents.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control says they are working with the CDC to ensure their data is correct.
“We are in communication with the CDC and Operation Warp Speed to verify that data so we can better understand what is happening and what is going on,” says Dr. Brennan Traxler, interim director of Public Health.
Rumors have been circulating as South Carolinians speculate what has been holding up the vaccine distribution. Dr. Traxler clarified that the state is using nearly 100% of the Federally allocated vials.
“We are not seeing any significant numbers of doses being discarded or wasted,” she says.
To help speed up the process, Governor Henry McMaster called on South Carolina hospitals to reduce the amount of elective procedures.
In the meantime, Dr. Traxler says that anyone waiting for the vaccine should do what they can to keep those hospital beds open.
“It’s going to depend on everyone’s behavior in South Carolina. We really need everybody — this is a critical time and we really need everyone to double down on their efforts,” she says.
DHEC officials say the state is moving towards Phase 1-B; which would allow vaccinations for school employees and other first responders.