SC vaccine demand outpacing supply; call center to launch this week

SC continues to get more than 120,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses weekly

VIDEO: SC vaccine demand outpacing supply; call center to launch this week

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The state health department says it will get at least another 120,000 COVID vaccine doses this week.

DHEC’s Interim Director of Public Health Dr. Brannon Traxler expects 60-64,000 first doses and 60-64,000 second doses to be allocated to South Carolina this week.

It’s in line with numbers of doses they’ve received other weeks, but she said demand for those doses is increasing.

Traxler said up until two weeks ago, the state was able to give providers like hospitals and clinics pretty much the number of doses they were requesting. But now that’s changed.

“Beginning two weeks ago we saw a significant increase in the amounts of vaccines being requested,” she said. “Whereas the number of doses coming into the state still was the same as we’ve been getting in previous weeks. So for the last couple of weeks, we’ve been able to only fulfill a portion of every facility’s orders.”

The DHEC Board is meeting tomorrow and Traxler says her team will present models to them for how to allocate vaccine from now on if demand continues to be higher than supply.

The CDC has not told DHEC yet when our state might get an increase in weekly doses.

Another major update discussed on a media call today was that the state plans to launch an immunization-only call center this week. That’s in addition to a new vaccine scheduler online so when you are eligible for a shot, you can go on your phone or computer and set up that appointment.

Several reporters asked about how the state will make sure rural areas, minorities and low-income people will get equal access to the vaccines. Traxler said they are setting up mobile clinics, working with leaders in the black community and plan to educate those specific populations about when and how to get the shots.

Visit the DHEC website for more information about COVID-19 vaccine distribution in South Carolina.

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