CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Medical University of South Carolina says they are working to speed up the COVID-19 vaccine inoculations.
Gov. Henry McMaster says he is urging hospitals across the state to speed up the process of administering the COVID-19 vaccine. MUSC says one way to do that is by bringing on more people who can administer vaccines.
A new joint order from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation expanded the number of medical professionals who can now administer the COVID-19 vaccine.
The order includes: certain students of an accredited medical school who have had proper training; registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and physicians who have retired, become inactive, or whose licenses have lapsed within the last five years but were in good standing and licensed dentists who have taken certain COVID-19 vaccination training programs.
DHEC says all these newly qualified people will need to enroll in the federal COVID-19 vaccine program before they can begin.
MUSC spokesperson Heather Woolwine says there are additional roles that non-clinical volunteers may be slotted into, such as crowd control and registration to help move the process along.
“While South Carolina is currently in Phase 1a of its vaccine plan which is targeted at protecting front-line medical workers, long-term care facility residents and staff, and those who are 70 older, this joint order proactively puts us in a position to have an increased number of people who can administer vaccine when the vaccine is more widely available to everyone,” DHEC Acting Director Marshall Taylor said.
MUSC officials say they hope to ramp up the number of vaccines to 10,000 per-day by the end of the month, but Woolwine says, as of Wednesday, they estimate to be vaccinating about 3,000 per-day.
Woolwine says MUSC is continuing to use the Citadel Mall drive-thru location in West Ashley as a large mobile site to distribute the vaccine. She says part of the day goes to testing appointments and part goes to vaccine appointments.
“We are offering robust vaccine clinics throughout the health system within hospital and clinic facilities, including our hospitals in the Lancaster and Florence divisions, and our most busy vaccine location at this time, MUSC Health East Cooper,” Woolwine said.
Though they have not rolled out any new mass vaccination sites yet, MUSC says large COVID-19 testing sites, like the airport, are in consideration as vaccination sites.