Gov. Henry McMaster has asked South Carolina hospitals to scale back elective procedures to free up staff and bandwidth to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.
In a letter sent Friday to South Carolina Hospital Association President and CEO Thornton Kirby, McMaster asked that hospitals voluntarily reduce elective procedures in response to growing staff shortages.
“Voluntarily scaling back elective and non-essential procedures now in order to increase the number of vaccinations being delivered on an hourly and daily basis will help improve the public’s confidence and participation in our state’s COVID-19 response,” McMaster wrote.
South Carolina Interim Public Health Director Brannon Traxler said Friday public demand for the vaccine has far outpaced the supply the state has received.
“It’s important to understand that the flow of vaccine is from the federal government, and it is not sufficient to meet the growing demand,” Traxler said.
South Carolina receives about 63,000 vaccine doses from the federal government each week. So far, every vaccine the state has received has been administered or is scheduled to be administered.
“We ask all South Carolinians to please be patient, as we work to make certain that the limited doses of the COVID-19 vaccines that are available in South Carolina are provided first and foremost to those that are most vulnerable to this deadly disease,” Traxler said.
Agencies have not reported any significant number of doses being discarded or wasted, Traxler said.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported a test positivity rate of 16.5% on Friday, along with 1,845 new cases and 93 new confirmed COVID-19-related deaths.
This article was originally published on McMaster seeks South Carolina hospitals’ help in clearing way for COVID-19 vaccinations
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