Lowcountry Headlines

Lowcountry Headlines


Lowcountry hospitals start vaccinations

By Danielle Seat|December 15, 2020 at 7:30 AM EST - Updated December 15 at 7:30 AM

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Roper St. Francis says they plan to vaccinate 2,000 members of their staff in their first round of vaccinations.

Roper St. Francis Spokesperson Andy Lyons says they expect to have more staff needing vaccination than vaccine doses for the next few weeks. 

Lyons says they will start vaccinations Tuesday and will be prioritizing distribution of the vaccine in accordance with federal recommendations as well as criteria established by the Roper St. Francis Ethics Committee.

The list is prioritized based on level of exposure risk in the workplace and job responsibility. For example, Lyons says staff who care directly for known COVID positive patients, like those who work in a COVID unit, or care directly for patients whose COVID status is unknown, such as those in the emergency rooms, will be the first eligible to receive the vaccine.

The vaccines will not be required for staff, but Lyons says they are highly recommending it.

In a recent study done by the Medical University of South Carolina, more than 200 MUSC employees were asked if they would “definitely get the vaccine,” and 61% said they would definitely get the vaccine.

Trident Medical Center Spokesperson Kelly Bowen says they are still not sure exactly when the COVID-19 vaccine will be arriving, but they are in the process of setting up walk-through vaccine clinics for staff.

Bowen says they are still waiting to hear from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control on when they will be receiving the vaccine, but when it comes, they will be ready.

Staff are putting the final touches on walk-though clinics, and similar to the other hospitals, they will be rolling out the vaccine to staff in phases.

According to DHEC, Phase 1 A, which includes healthcare workers who have the potential for exposure to direct or indirect COVID 19 patients, could last several weeks or even months.

Phase 1 B includes the remaining essential workers, DHEC says.

Trident Medical Center is distributing a COVID-19 treatment called Bamlanivimab, which Bowen says helps reduce hospitalization due to COVID in high risk patients.

As of Monday, more than 50 patients have received the treatment and so far, they have found that the treatment is 96% effective.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Photo by Live 5 News.

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