Upstate health systems prepare to receive Covid-19 vaccine

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- According to Dr. Saria Saccocio with Prisma Health, the Pfzier vaccine for Covid-19 could be arriving on site for healthcare workers as soon as Monday.

“What we’re hearing from the federal government is that we’ll probably get enough vaccine to vaccinate our team members in December, January, continue into February,” said Dr. Saccocio, who is the ambulatory chief medical officer for Prisma Health.

They’ve been getting ready for months.

“We are prepared and have identified our locations,” she said. “We will start getting these shots in arms right away and anticipate that we can vaccinate a thousand within a week.”

She said it will likely be spring or summer before enough doses are available for everyone.

A spokesperson from Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System told 7News they will be receiving enough of the vaccine for all employees who are face-to-face with patients.

A Bon Secours St. Francis representative said they anticipate a limited supply and will prioritize access for frontline staff.

AnMed Health, Bon Secours St. Francis, and Prisma Health representatives said right now they are not requiring staff to take the vaccine, but they are encouraging it.

“We recognize that this is a new vaccine recently came off of clinical trials,” Sr. Saccocio said. “They’re proven to be quite safe with a high efficacy rate of approximately 95 percent, but we want to support our team members and encourage individuals to step forward to receive that vaccine.”

Health officials in North and South Carolina are reporting record high daily cases, and Dr. Saccocio cautions us to be patient.

“While we have hope on the horizon, it is critical that everyone is doing their part to wear their masks, to wash their hands, to keep their distance and that is critical,” she said. “We have several months to get through.”

DHEC reports there may be a limited number of doses available in the first phase of distribution.

You can view the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s full vaccination here.

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