Confusion reigns as South Carolina rolls out COVID-19 vaccinations
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - As Phase 1 of COVID-19 vaccination expands, we wanted to see how easy or difficult it is to schedule an appointment.
First, we went to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s website and found a map of available vaccine locations.
There’s only one available site in Aiken County, but that’s not the only problem we ran into.
The map shows seven locations in Aiken and Edgefield counties, with only Aiken Regional Medical Center scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments. We reached out to all seven health care providers and got very different answers.
Family Pharmacy in Aiken says it isn’t part of the vaccine until Phase 2, so they’ll open up appointments then.
Edgefield Hospital and the Aiken County Health Department say they are accepting appointments, even though the map says they aren’t.
Edgefield says they’ll give about 1,500 vaccines per week. They’ll take appointments every Thursday on a first-come-first-serve basis. To schedule an appointment through DHEC, you can call the care line, so we gave it a try.
But we ran into several issues -- mainly no one picking up.
We tried calling DHEC directly in Columbia. We learned that the care line was unavailable.
DHEC says they received more than 5,000 calls Wednesday morning, overwhelming their phone lines and making it nearly impossible to schedule an appointment.
As the state continues to roll out phases of the vaccine, the call volume is only going to grow.
DHEC says the state gets about 60,000 doses of vaccine per week, but they have more than 10 times that many people eligible for the vaccine.
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