MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — COVID-19 booster shots are slowly being rolled out to pharmacies in South Carolina, but some are experiencing a shortage.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said it’s a delivery — not a supply issue.
SCDHEC said there’s multiple new strains vaccines, including the COVID booster being released right now. The flu and RSV shot are seeing delays as well.
“The transition in the program for COVID, where is up till this point a lot of it was supported by the national government and federal agencies,” said Jonathan Knoche, a DHEC medical consultant. “Now, that’s been moved to the private sector like any other routine vaccinations.”
If you’ve visited your local pharmacy to try and get the latest COVID-19 booster shot, you may have been told there’s little to none available.
Corporate pharmacies like CVS said it’s rolling out vaccines, but are experiencing delivery delays.
Knoche said there’s only one contractor who delivers all the vaccines to the eastern half of the U.S. That, combined with multiple different types of vaccines in high demand, results in the shortage.
“This seems to be more of a delivery issue,” he said. “There is supply from the manufactures, but the company that’s contracted to deliver these is a little bit backlogged right now and are getting them out as quickly as they can.”
It’s not just corporate pharmacies that are dealing with delays.
Some smaller, independent pharmacies have said they haven’t even received the COVID-19 booster even though they placed their order at the same time corporations did.
Knoche said he’s not sure how the decision is made on how vaccines are rolled out, but federal programs could be an influence.
“I know sometimes there can be differences in drug manufactures’ requirements to send things through federal programs,” he said. “For instance, people that are underinsured or uninsured versus privately insured.”
Knoche said to be patient while boosters roll out, but to go ahead and start figuring out where you can get your shot.
“Get their vaccines, get their immunizations, talk to their providers, go the pharmacy,” he said. “Wherever it’s easiest for them to get those done to go ahead and do that.”
DHEC said they plan to offer Moderna COVID boosters starting next week, and pharmacies should start to receive more in the following weeks.
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Adrianna Lawrence is a multimedia journalist at News13. Adrianna is originally from Virginia Beach, Virginia, and joined the News13 team in June 2023 after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University in May 2023. Keep up with Adrianna on Instagram, Facebook, and X, formerly Twitter. You can also read more of her work, here.