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Prisma Health rapidly increases COVID-19 vaccinations; goal of 10,000 doses daily within reach

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Walk-in vaccine appointments no longer allowed in Upstate locations as vaccine supplies run low

GREENVILLE, S.C.—Prisma Health reached 9,370 daily COVID-19 vaccinations on Jan. 21 and is well on its way to meeting its goal of 10,000 vaccinations per day due to the rapid mobilization of staff and the enormous success in quickly standing up two high-volume community vaccination sites in Columbia and Greenville.

Since the COVID-19 vaccine was made available mid-December, Prisma Health has administered the most vaccinations of any health provider in South Carolina, with 59,175 doses as of Jan. 21, which is 22% of all the Pfizer vaccine doses administered in the state. Because of the rapid expansion and the huge community demand of those eligible to be vaccinated, Prisma Health’s vaccine supply is now extremely low.

Starting tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 23, Prisma Health cannot take any walk-ins at any of its vaccination sites in its Upstate locations. In addition, Prisma Health can only take people who have scheduled appointments in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vaccination Administration Management System (VAMS) for that day and anyone due for their second dose, since state officials have indicated they have a reserve supply for those doses. The second dose is recommended within 17-25 days after the first dose, and everyone needs to finish their vaccination series.

“We are asking the public for their patience. The number of individuals who want a vaccine far, far exceeds the number of vaccine doses we have received from public officials,” said Saria Saccocio, MD, Prisma Health chief medical officer for Ambulatory Services and co-chair of the Prisma Health vaccine task force. “While today’s announcement only applies to our Upstate locations, we are closely monitoring the Midlands vaccine supply and will provide an update about that market tomorrow.”

Prisma Health’s vaccine supply now has dwindled tremendously, due to the rapid efficiency and the huge community demand of those aged 70 and older.

“We have no excess inventory of vaccine,” Saccocio continued. “We only received 25% of what we requested from the state for this week’s vaccine supply. Next week we have requested 60,000 vaccine doses to meet our demand. This is a national vaccine supply problem that is affecting the entire country.”

Eligible people who have a CDC VAMS appointment must come on the day they are scheduled and must bring their QR code. For those in Phase 1a, they must also bring identification such as a driver’s license or employer ID badge.

Currently, the South Carolina governor has allowed only those in Phase 1a, those hospitalized age 65 and older, and those community members aged 70 and older to receive their vaccination. In response to the challenges seen in the 70+ population with making online appointments, Prisma Health began offering appointment assistance at its COVID-19 vaccination centers for those individuals who do not have a computer or email access to complete the scheduling.

Prisma Health will begin vaccinating individuals in the next phase (Phase 1b) when authorized by state officials.

For more information about Prisma Health’s vaccination process, visit PrismaHealth.org/Vaccine.

About Prisma Health

Prisma Health is a not-for-profit health company and the largest healthcare system in South Carolina. With nearly 30,000 team members, 18 hospitals, 2,947 beds and more than 300 outpatient sites with nearly 2,000 physicians, Prisma Health serves more than 1.2 million unique patients annually in its 21-county market area that covers 50% of South Carolina. Prisma Health’s goal is to improve the health of all South Carolinians by enhancing clinical quality, the patient experience and access to affordable care, as well as conducting clinical research and training the next generation of medical professionals.

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