COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — Less than half of South Carolina’s vaccine allotment has been administered after the first two weeks, according to data from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).
DHEC said it received 112,125 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as of Dec. 30. A total of 35,158 of those vaccines have been administered to phase 1a individuals, according to DHEC.
DHEC received 42,900 doses the week of Dec. 14, and 30,225 doses the week of Dec. 21. Thirty-nine thousand of the 112,125 doses were received Monday and Tuesday, according to DHEC. About 43% of the doses received the weeks of Dec. 14 and Dec. 21 have been administered.
DHEC told News13 it believes its vaccination rate last week was considered on the high end nationally. A spokesperson did not answer directly when asked if the vaccination rate has met expectations or if there have been any issues with the vaccinations. The spokesperson said they would follow up on the questions.
Wednesday, DHEC said 31% of its doses have been administered. That number just includes the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. It also includes the 39,000 vaccines that were distributed Monday and Tuesday.
South Carolina’s vaccination rate is much higher than other states. North Carolina has administered 20% of its vaccines, while Georgia administered 14% and Alabama administered 16%, according to data provided by DHEC.
President-elect Joe Biden during a press conference Tuesday said at the rate current vaccine distribution is going across the country, it’s going to take “years, not months” to vaccinate Trump’s goal of 20 million people.
The Pfizer vaccine must be stored at ultra-cold temperatures. According to Pfizer, the vaccines can be stored for a maximum of 30 days in the ultra-cold container they are shipped in, as long as the dry ice is replaced every five days. They may also be stored an additional five days in a refrigerator, for a total of 35 days.
Ultra-cold commercial freezers can be used to extend shelf life for up to six months, according to Pfizer.
Pfizer says once the vaccine is stored at a temperature below two to eight degrees Celsius, the vaccines can’t be re-frozen or stored at less than freezing temperatures.
DHEC said it also received 84,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine Monday. The Moderna vaccines are allocated to the CDC’s Long-Term Care Program, which will provide vaccines to long-term care facilities in partnership with CVS and Walgreens.
The number of Moderna vaccine doses that have been administered is not yet available, according to DHEC. The Moderna vaccine can be stored at lower temperatures for up to 30 days, according to the CDC.
New doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will be received weekly, but the specific number of doses won’t be known until shipments are received, according to DHEC.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published Dec. 29. It was updated Dec. 30 with the latest numbers provided by DHEC.