State health officials and COVID-19 vaccine providers work to clear up second dose confusion

Tracking The Vaccine

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — A panel of South Carolina lawmakers questioned the state health department and vaccine providers about second dose accountability during a meeting Tuesday.

Members of the House Legislative Oversight Committee said they want to make sure there are enough second doses for South Carolinians who have already received the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

New DHEC director Dr. Edward Simmer said, “To me there is no higher priority group than the folks who have gotten their first dose.”

Right now, DHEC fulfills the orders for second doses from providers. They said the number of second doses in the order must match the same number of first doses received by the provider.

Officials said some of those doses have been used to vaccinate someone for the first time avoid wasting vaccine.

Dr Simmer said, “We’ve had some bumps along the way. We need to improve. We have some things in place. We’re working with our partners but to me getting that second dose is high priority in our vaccination schedule.”

Second doses are recommended around 21 to 28 days after receiving the first dose depending on which vaccine you get. Officials said you need to make sure you scheduled that second dose appointment with the same provider. This will help keep allotments consistent and cut down on the number of second dose appointments that have had to be canceled.

DHEC said providers are responsible for making sure second doses are only use for second dose appointments.

Dr. Simmer said, “It gives us more predictability in the system and will help avoid this issue where we’re getting more second dose requests than we can meet.”

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