Preparing for COVID-19 vaccine: SC health leaders discuss process and timeline


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – A COVID-19 vaccine could reach South Carolina within two weeks. State health leaders said during a news briefing Thursday evening, they have everything in place and are ready for when the FDA gives the green light for emergency use.

A vaccine that is no longer in the distant future. South Carolina health leaders are preparing to get their hands on a COVID-19 vaccine. However, they’re noticing a growing trend, that’s skepticism among some of the public.

“People are paying more attention to myth than even a small risk that could be associated with a complication from the vaccine,” said South Carolina State Epidemiologist, Dr. Linda Bell.

Spartanburg County Resident Rita Smith told us, she’s happy the vaccine could soon be available. However she said, she’s not in a rush to get it.

“I may take it down the road. I’m not saying absolutely no but as I said, I’ve never had the flu shot either,” said Rita Smith.

Same goes for Michael Cash.

“I don’t know if I would get it right now or not, I really don’t have any health issues. My wife has some health issues so she’s probably going to get it,” said Spartanburg Resident, Michael Cash.

They have time to figure that out though, the first batch is going to healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents.

“We had to think hard about who are the most critical people to vaccinate first to reduce mortality,” said South Carolina Assistant State Epidemiologist, Dr. Jane Kelly.

The vaccine the state will likely receive first is the Pfizer brand, Moderna will likely be following close behind.

And health leaders like Dr. Linda Bell said they want the public to be ready.

“All of the evidence has been collected, all of the clinical trials will be submitted to the FDA,” Dr. Bell told us.

Boiling Springs resident, Cameron Burden doesn’t need any convincing. He told us, when his time comes he’ll be ready to get vaccinated.

“Seems more important than a flu shot, I want to do what I can to protect the community,” said Boiling Springs Resident, Cameron Burden.

Health leaders told us when the vaccine could be available for the general public in South Carolina will likely be around spring. In the meantime, they urge everyone to keep taking extra precautions like wearing a mask and social distancing.

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