MUSC officials claim vaccination data is misleading

Updated: Jan. 27, 2021 at 6:45 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Medical University of South Carolina has received more COVID-19 Pfizer vaccines than any other listed facility in the state with nearly 44,000 first doses.

The tracking data published by the Department of Health and Environmental Control every day also shows MUSC has only administered about 51 percent of those doses.

Chief Quality Office Dr. Danielle Scheurer says that data is not complete.

“Our record of truth is our medical record because we know exactly what we are doing in our medical record and that is different than the record of truth DHEC is using,” Scheurer explains. “DHEC is using VAMS as the record of truth right now.”

VAMS or the Vaccine Administration Management System is a federal tool used by DHEC to track doses.

MUSC’s internal medical record shows they have actually received 62,000 vaccines with 82 percent of them administered. Scheurer also says every dose they have received is either in an arm or scheduled to be.

That scheduling is another reason why the DHEC’s numbers appear low but tend to rise throughout the week as appointments are completed.

“By definition on the day of [vaccine] arrival you’re going to have seven days of inventory in the freezer. One thing to bear in mind is that the freezer is never going to actually be empty because you’re always going to have patients scheduled,” Scheurer said.

Last week, Gov. Henry McMaster argued the exact opposite when he toured vaccination clinics in the Lowcountry.

“Get it in an arm within one week. Your shelf ought to be empty . . . so when the next shipment comes in, the last shipment should have been vaccinated,” McMaster said.

Other large hospital systems, like Prisma Midlands and Prisma Upstate, both have received more than 30,000 doses and their administered rates are 89 percent and 122 percent respectively.

Again Scheurer attributes that to the data collection systems.

“We just started vaccinating December 15 again with a brand-new system, so I think some of this is just growing pains. I do want to reassure everyone that we are getting vaccines in arms as fast as possible,” Scheurer said.

She says VAMS has created double the amount of paperwork for their staff. If MUSC hits their goal of administering 10,000 vaccinations a day, Scheurer says it would take 200 man hours everyday just to fill out all of the paperwork.

She says they hope to have the state’s records and their internal records reconciled in 2-3 weeks.

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