CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Mass vaccination clinics all over South Carolina are being scaled back for the second week in a row after shipping delays caused by severe winter storms.
Here in the Lowcountry, vaccine providers are having to roll with the punches as their vaccine allocations remain stuck in transit. At the same time, state healthcare leaders say this delay is only part of the overall problem.
In a House committee meeting on Tuesday, some of the state’s top vaccine providers spoke about the challenges they’ve been facing over the last few weeks.
Dr. Patrick Cawley, CEO of the Medical University of South Carolina, says there has been a huge lack of consistency in the amount of doses they receive and when they receive them.
“Only about a little more than half the time is the vaccine showing up when it should. We never really know until we open that box. There’s actually a bit of a comedy amongst our team about ‘what surprise are we going to get thrown today’?” says Cawley.
Here in the Lowcountry, multiple vaccination clinics have been impacted from the combination of shipping delays and an overall vaccine shortage.
Mount Pleasant’s drive-thru clinic at Seacoast Church was rescheduled last week for this Friday. Mayor Will Haynie says he is thankful their 1,000 second-dose shots will still be ready to go.
Haynie also says the Chick-fil-a manager, Jerry Walkowiak, who helped “save the day” during a major traffic jam in their first round of doses will also be there to help out.
At the same time, a 3 day vaccine event at the Charleston Gaillard Center by Harris Teeter and the City of Charleston had to be reduced to a 1 day event because there weren’t enough doses to go around.
Vaccines will be available for eligible recipients on Wednesday. You can make an appointment here.
State healthcare leaders are asking all the patients who are waiting for their first and second doses to stay patient. They say it’s important for the public to know that these unexpected circumstances will likely require some changes to their rollout plan over the next few weeks.
“I tremendously appreciate the collaboration from DHEC as we problem solve to get to where we need to be. And we cannot always anticipate what those consequences will be until we experience them,” says Dr. Saria Saccocio, Ambulatory Chief Medical Officer for Prisma Health.
For the latest information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine distribution, click here.