COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) will begin receiving second doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine this week.
DHEC said 16,575 second-round doses are being shipped directly to facilities by the federal government.
Facilities will then begin to administer second doses to people who received their first shot.
According to DHEC, 43,227 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been administered in South Carolina as phase 1-A continues.
In a media briefing held by DHEC today, officials said they anticipate Phase 1b to start sometime in February. To ensure those in rural counties receive the vaccine in that phase, DHEC said they’d take extra steps.
DHEC said the general public will start to receive the vaccine in Summer and Fall of 2021.
DHEC Interim Public Health Director, Dr. Brannon Traxler said to speed up the vaccination distribution, they ask people to keep following CDC guidelines to lessen the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals.
“That’s why it’s so important for us to certainly step up and get vaccinated when it’s your turn but until it’s your turn, stay committed to the cause and wear your mask,” Dr. Traxler said.
Gayle Resetar, the Chief Operating Officer for Tidelands Health said with hospitals being completely full, people need to continue to take this virus seriously.
“We don’t anticipate that this is going to get better so this is a really critical time. I think at the same time, the community has a lot of COVID fatigue,” Resetar said.
DHEC also said they’re looking at setting up vaccine distribution sites in the future that are similar to testing sites but nothing has been decided or set yet.
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