DHEC Continues to Provide COVID-19 Vaccine Updates, Latest Information
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
January 1, 2021
COLUMBIA, S.C. — In addition to COVID-19 vaccine updates provided earlier this week, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today announced additional information.
Sixteen health care facilities, as outlined in this new spreadsheet, have received 97,500 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine directly from the federal government since Dec. 14. The DHEC Distribution Center has received 14,625 doses and distributed 5,555 to health care facilities without the ultra-cold storage required for storing Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
As Phase 1a vaccination progresses, hospitals and other COVID-19 vaccination providers may administer doses to non-affiliated Phase 1a healthcare workers, if they have the ability to do so based on clarified guidance, available vaccine and appropriate staffing. It is the discretion of each hospital and vaccination provider as to which non-affiliated Phase 1a individuals they offer to vaccinate, and in what order.
Additionally, DHEC is working with partners to establish vaccination clinics for Phase 1a individuals at independent medical practices, pharmacies, DHEC locations and other sites to ensure vaccine is accessible to all Phase 1a individuals who wish to receive their shot. Phase 1a individuals who will be notified and encouraged to schedule an appointment at one of these sites if they have not been vaccinated by a hospital.
COVID-19 vaccine providers are required to successfully enroll in a federal vaccine distribution program that instructs the proper handling and administration of vaccine. They also are required by federal law to report specific information for every dose they administer into the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS), a secure national database accessed by states to monitor vaccine administration. It’s important to note that the numbers in VAMS, the way they are recorded, and the timing of when they can be/are recorded, are impacting the amount of vaccines VAMS says hospitals have on hand. Also, many of the available doses are earmarked for Phase 1a individuals with appointments scheduled in the near future.
Residents and staff of long-term care facilities and nursing homes who are currently being vaccinated through the Long-Term Care Program managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are recorded separately in a national database called Tiberius. Vaccine information isn’t expected to available through Tiberius until early next week.
As states await long-term care facility data, DHEC is developing an online vaccine overview dashboard expected to launch Jan. 6, 2021. In the interim, DHEC will provide daily updates to the spreadsheet of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine allocations. For the latest COVID-19 vaccine information, visit scdhec.gov/vaxfacts.