As Covid-19 vaccinations ramp up, demand outpaces supply

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- According to South Carolina health officials, the supply of Covid-19 vaccine doses isn’t meeting demand as vaccinations ramp up across the state.

Prisma Health is opening two new mass-vaccination sites Monday with the goal of administering 10,000 doses a day by the end of next week.

The Upstate location is set to open in an old K-Mart near Greenville Memorial Hospital.

Prisma Health claims they’ve got the space, the staff and patients: the only thing missing is enough doses.

“Without more vaccine, our team will be sitting around waiting on the next shipment,” said Dr. Saria Saccocio, who is the co-chair of Prisma Health’s Covid-19 vaccine task force

Dr. Saccocio said the health system requested more than 58,000 doses for next week.

“Based on the current supply of vaccine, coupled with next week’s Tuesday shipments, we will run out of vaccine next week if we do not receive this additional excess of inventory,” she said.

Prisma Health won’t be receiving those 58,000 doses. According to a South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control media briefing Friday, the entire state is set to receive about 63,000 doses next week, as it has weekly since the vaccines became available. The state is set to receive the same amount the following week, as well.

“It is important to understand that the flow of vaccine is from the federal government, and it is not sufficient to meet the growing demand at this time,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, who is the interim public health director for DHEC.

According to the South Carolina Hospital Association, which represents all of the Upstate’s major health systems, vaccination efforts have been aggressively ramped up, but the supply remains stagnant.

In a statement, the SCHA said hospitals will receive 100% of the second doses they requested, but only 20-25% of the first doses. Based on that math, Prisma Health would be receiving about 13,500 doses next week, far short of their goal.

Under South Carolina’s vaccination plan, frontline health workers and those over age 70 are currently eligible to receive the vaccine. Prisma Health’s mass-vaccination sites are by appointment only. Those who are eligible can sign up here.

Those who don’t have access to internet can call 833-277-4762 to schedule an appointment.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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