Vaccines delays mount as hospitals reschedule appointments

VIDEO: Vaccines delays mount as hospitals reschedule appointments

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The frustrations surrounding COVID-19 vaccinations continue into another week as hospitals and clinics are trying to keep up with a dwindling supply. Winter weather across the nation has created delays for tens of thousands of doses and forced many places to postpone or reschedule appointments.

On Monday, the Medical University of South Carolina announced around 10,000 appointments had to be postponed. Roper St. Francis has also had to push back some 2,400 vaccinations.

Roper officials are opting to push first-dose patients so they can keep the appointments they have made for second dose patients.

Chief Medical Officer for Ambulatory Care & Population Health at Roper St. Francis Health Dr. Robert Oliverio says they are doing everything they can to keep up with the fluctuating supply of vaccines.

“I don’t know what else can be thrown at us. I mean we had uncertain supply chains, uncertain manufacturing and then you know a massive winter storm,” Oliverio said. “They’re not making this easy.”

It is not a complete loss, however.

Since people sign up for a first shot and a second shot at the same time, Roper simply moved those 2,400 people’s first appointment to their second appointment date. Oliverio says that way those folks don’t have to go through the motions of trying to get a new appointment.

One vaccination location that has made it out of the last two week relatively unscathed is the Charleston VA. Scott Isaacks, director of the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center, says they have not experienced delays with Pfizer but they did run into small disruptions with Moderna.

However, they have not had to reschedule any appointments.

“We really want to make sure we know what vaccines we are getting before we open up scheduling and allow veterans to schedule,” Isaacks said. “The last thing we want is our veterans scheduling an appointment, getting excited about getting the vaccine and then having to canceled that. We didn’t have to do that.”

So far, the Charleston VA has given around 20,000 vaccinations, most of those in just the last couple of weeks. Roper is hoping to reopen scheduling in the “very near future.”

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