NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Gov. Henry McMaster urged South Carolina hospitals to move quicker in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations.
The governor was at the North Charleston Coliseum visiting Roper St. Francis’ vaccination drive thru facility where he spoke about the importance of getting the vaccine to people as quickly as possible.
According to McMaster, there has been some “misunderstanding” and a “lack of communication” regarding the distribution of the vaccine involving the first doses, which is currently being administered, and second doses, which will eventually be given at some point in the future.
McMaster said hospitals should not be setting aside half of the first doses of the vaccine they are currently receiving for the second dose distribution.
“There was legitimate confusion,” he said. “You can see how it happened, but we caught it and we are in good shape.”
The governor said when hospitals receive their shipments of the vaccine they are to give them out as quickly as possible with no delay.
McMaster stressed that people who want the vaccine will eventually get one but it will require time.
“I want to make it clear to the citizens out there they’re seeking vaccinations, that there will be more vaccines available, more widely available than they are now,” he said. “So it is going to require some time.”
The governor said the state will also offer help in the distribution of the vaccine if they are needed.
Speaking Monday afternoon from Lexington Medical Center in Columbia, which he said has a “Chick-Fil-A-type assembly line,” the governor said the hospital shelves need to be empty by the time a new shipment of vaccine arrives.
“The old shipment ought to be in somebody’s arm, and that’s not happening now. And it needs to happen,” McMaster said.
According to McMaster, if necessary, they will have hospitals that do not have the personnel and can’t get them to come in to cut their elective surgeries to free up some staff to administer the vaccine.