SCDHEC COVID-19 vaccine update

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control provided the following update on COVID-19 vaccine during the last week of December:

• From December 14-16, South Carolina received its first allocation of COVID-19 vaccine: a total of 42,900 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were received by direct shipments from the federal government. As of early this afternoon, 19,644 doses of vaccine have been administered to phase 1a individuals, with shots continuing to be administered each day.

• The next week (Dec. 23) South Carolina began receiving its second round of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Fifteen health care facilities are receiving a combined 30,225 doses of the vaccine to continue to administer to phase 1a individuals.

• The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) released its recommendations on December 20 for phase 1b individuals. South Carolina’s Vaccine Advisory Committee is using this federal guidance to complete phase 1b guidelines in South Carolina, which will be provided as soon as it’s finalized.

• Those phase 1a individuals who have received their Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will require a second shot 21 days later. Their second shot will come from a future allocation of vaccine that’s specifically being held by the federal government as the second dose for those individuals, to ensure they receive both required doses.

• Any and all Moderna vaccine made available to South Carolina will be allocated to the CDC’s Long-Term Care Program. This federal program works with CVS and Walgreens pharmacies to provide vaccine to a state’s long-term care facilities. DHEC has a limited role in this federal program, other than dedicating doses of South Carolina’s vaccine allotment to the program.

• It’s expected that CVS and Walgreens will begin vaccinating long-term care facilities in South Carolina with Moderna vaccine beginning the week of December 28. DHEC has been told that skilled nursing facilities will be the first type of long-term care facilities vaccinated through this federal program. Dr. Brannon Traxler, interim Public Health Director, provided additional information about this federal long-term care facility program during a media update on Friday.

• We continue to expect that South Carolina will received between 200,000-300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, by the end of the year, however, this estimate is subject to change.

DHEC will continue to provide regular updates on COVID-19 vaccine in South Carolina. A new data element is being developed that will provide vaccine-specific data reporting on the COVID-19 webpage, and this is anticipated to be available on the website at the beginning of January. For current vaccine information, visit scdhec.gov/vaxfacts.