DHEC urges hospitals to vaccinate admitted patients 65 and older

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) says South Carolina hospitals should begin to vaccinate their admitted patients who are 65 and older, as long as they do not currently have COVID-19 and a provider feels it is indicated for them. “It is within our state’s best interest to allow hospitals to begin vaccinating their admitted patients who are aged 65 years and older,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Interim Public Health Director. “By moving up these patients who are currently admitted in our hospitals we are ensuring that the most vulnerable among us are being vaccinated as quickly as possible.” Adding admitted patients age 65 years and older to the Phase 1a eligible individuals currently able to receive the vaccine, is part of DHEC efforts to speed up the number of South Carolinians getting vaccinated against the COVID-19 vaccine. “DHEC, Governor McMaster, SCHA and hospitals agree this will be another great step toward vaccinating our most vulnerable residents. Vaccination to these individuals can occur immediately, depending on availability of vaccine and staffing,” Traxler said. The agency has urged Phase 1a healthcare workers to quickly schedule appointments with their local hospitals to be vaccinated as soon as possible and no later than Jan. 15, 2021. Since first receiving the COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 14, South Carolina has received a federal allocation of 146,500 Pfizer vaccines. To date 62,632 South Carolinians in Phase 1a have received their first dose of the vaccine and 7,698 have received their second dose. “Hopefully, the announcement today will improve our vaccination rates,” said Hartsville Sen. Gerald Malloy. “With less than half of the vaccines our state has received having actually been given to people, we simply must do better.”

Author: Rachel Howell

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