Gov. Henry McMaster said South Carolina hospitals are at fault for the slow rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in the state, The Sun News reported.
A day after South Carolina’s top health official said federal supply of the COVID-19 vaccine isn’t enough to meet demand, Gov. Henry McMaster put blame on hospitals for slow vaccine distribution. “We have got to use every single dose of this vaccine that comes into the state and is not being done,” he said. So far South Carolina has distributed 6,808 doses per 100,000 people, the lowest in the country.
The state ranks 48th in the country for doses administered per 100,000 people.
According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, African Americans make up 27% of the state’s population, but they account for a large portion of the state’s COVID-related deaths.
“The health divide is real,” McIver said responding to those alarming numbers. “Certainly, viruses don’t have an affinity to any group, class, race, what have you. So, when I started hearing those things about people of color couldn’t get it, I said I need to go out and do some educating.” Early on, McIver rolled up his sleeves, turned on his webcam, and started weekly announcements informing South Carolinians, especially those in black communities, the dangers of what was to come of COVID-19.
McIver predicts more death is to come in the black community if people choose not to get the vaccine. While McIver understands the skepticism, he is hopeful more African Americans trust the new science as COVID-19 continues to disproportionately tighten its grip on the lives in the black community.
Harris Teeter will begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations soon at its stores across the country, and is starting in South Carolina, the chain announced Wednesday. The grocer will offer vaccinations to those eligible under federal and state guidelines, which currently includes health care workers and individuals 70 years of age or older.
South Carolina Covid Links
COVID-19 – SCDHEC.GOV/COVID-19
COVID-19 FAQs – https://scdhec.gov/covid19/frequently-asked-questions-covid-19
Vaccines – SCDHEC.GOV/VaxFacts