COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said the state received its first batch of COVID-19 vaccines Monday.
By Wednesday, the state expects to receive its first allocation of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which will include nearly 43,000 doses, the agency said in a news release.
Several health care facilities across the state are receiving allocations directly from the federal government and are expected to begin vaccinations Monday. Conway Medical Center officials said the hospital received a shipment of 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine at 9 a.m. Monday and the first vaccinations began at about 1 p.m.
CMC director of cardiology Dr. Stephen Brady was the first to receive the vaccine at the hospital. He encouraged everyone to receive their doses when available.
“Our top priority is to save lives,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said. “However, as the vaccine first becomes available, the number of doses will be limited in South Carolina, like in all states. We ask everyone to please be patient, wait your turn and listen to our public health officials. Doing this will allow public health officials to ensure the most vulnerable among us and those who keep us alive are vaccinated first.”
The state will follow phase 1A of its vaccination plan, which will prioritize front-line medical workers and long-term care facility residents and staff, DHEC says.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.