S.C. still getting limited vaccine doses each week, top doctor worried about timeline

Small dosage supply, slow rollout in S.C.

YORK COUNTY, S.C. (WBTV) -South Carolina’s interim public health director says the state is still getting the same number of COVID-19 vaccine doses since the rollout began.

Dr. Brannon Traxler says this is keeping the state from having mass vaccination clinics and speeding up the vaccine process.

The Centers for Disease Control says South Carolina has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country.

Traxler is still pointing to the limited doses it is getting from the state as the reason. She says the Department of Health and Environmental Control is asking for the most doses it can get.

”I think they’ve done the best with what they’ve had,” said Maggie Longshore, a retired nurse.

Like many others, Longshore has been watching the pandemic takeover in South Carolina.

”When you’re in acute care and it’s day after day after day, you really start to become frustrated,” Longshore said.

She has not been on the frontlines, but she does not have to imagine what it is like.

”Certain units at the hospital deal with death and dying but not all the time,” said Longshore. “So it’s getting to them.”

That is why Longshore believes the vaccination process needs to be much faster for healthcare workers’ sake.

”I wish we had a dose right now for every South Carolinian that wanted one, but the reality is right now we’re only getting the same amount that we’ve been getting weekly since vaccine rollout began,” said Traxler.

Traxler says the disease is still high but the vaccine is too limited. She says the state is not getting more doses any time soon.

The CDC told her through at least January, and probably for the foreseeable future, the state would get 63,000 doses.

Traxler says the slow rollout could impact the state’s phased timeline.

”How long it will take for people in any phase to get an appointment will be dependent on how quickly our supply increases,” Traxler said.

For those in Phase 1A, Traxler is urging anyone who can to make an appointment as soon as possible. Make one with the same vaccination location. She also urges people not to make multiple vaccine appointments, or double book them.

“Please please please don’t do this,” Traxler said.

Last Friday, Traxler told WBTV her team was talking to the CDC and Operation Warp Speed to see why the state is getting the least vaccines available. She did not have an update at the time.

Traxler says until more vaccines become available the best way to combat the disease is testing, wearing a mask, and social distancing.

She says this is how people can reduce the spread until everyone can get a vaccine.

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