Vaccine allocations expected to increase next week, DHEC officials say

Vaccine allocations expected to increase next week, DHEC officials say

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX CAROLINA) – Next week South Carolina is expecting to receive over 100,000 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the largest amount the state has seen as of yet.

DHEC is expecting the state’s vaccine allocation to increase by around 8,000 doses next week.

“As far as how much they receive each week, that predictability I think is the most important part of it. Understanding what that minimum amount that you can essentially be guaranteed. We’re not doing that quite yet, but we’re getting close to that over the next couple of weeks,” said DHEC Senior Deputy for Public Health Nick Davidson.

Tyson Foods team members receive COVID-19 vaccines from health officials at the Wilkesboro, N.C. facility on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021.

The ramp up coming as more COVID-19 vaccines could also soon become available.

On Wednesday, the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine was deemed safe and effective by the FDA.

That vaccine is only one dose and is easier to store and transport.

Davidson says DHEC plans on putting that vaccine into circulation if and when it is approved.

“We are probably going to spread it pretty widely. I doubt that we’re going to focus on any one particular situation, because there’s probably a lot of different entities that could use it,” he explained.

While the pace of the vaccinations is picking up, State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell cautions people in South Carolina the fight against the virus is not over.

She says it will take around 70 to 80 percent of the state’s population to be vaccinated before life can return to a more normal state.

“It’s not until we get to those levels when we can resume some normalcy. So until we get to that point people would need to continue to wear the mask, practice those prevention measures to prevent that ongoing spread in the community,” said Dr. Bell.

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