AIKEN, SC (WJBF) – South Carolina Senator Tom Young is working to get faster vaccine distribution in Aiken County.
He’s reached out across the river to Augusta University Medical Center.
Now, it’s a waiting game as AU’s application is under review in the Palmetto State.
Senator Young says he reached out because of the shortage of medical suppliers in the South Carolina.
There are certain rules AU has to follow in order to help. You can’t ship the vaccine across state lines. So, Senator Young is working with AU to find locations in Aiken where patients can be vaccinated. They can’t go to Augusta University because they are located in Georgia.
The biggest challenge right now is not knowing how many doses they’ll receive in order to start this mass vaccination.
Chief Medical Officer at Augusta University Medical Center, Dr. Phillip Coule, says, “so, it is very exciting that this is kind of this next step in the pandemic that helps us get back to normal, but in order to do that, we have to vaccinate large numbers of people to be able to do that safely and effectively.”
They are in talks of locations right now, but Dr. Coule says nothing is finalized just yet.
The big question now is how many doses they can get their hands on? Since mid-December, South Carolina has received 63 thousand doses of the vaccine each week.
Senator Young doesn’t see that changing before the end of the month.
Unsure of what will happen in February, he says he’s hopeful that the number will increase, and that AU will be able to help.
SC Senate District 24, Senator Tom Young, “I know that many residents are anxious to receive the vaccine, and all I can say is I understand that, and I am doing everything that I can do to push to expedite the vaccine rollout in our region and improve the vaccination process.”
There’s no set timeline on when AU will get approval to begin helping.
When they do, AU will have to set up sites in Aiken County since federal law prohibits South Carolina vaccines to cross state lines for distribution.