State officials share how SC is limiting the number of expired COVID-19 vaccine doses

U.S. & World News

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) held a statewide briefing to provide an update on COVID-19 and the state’s vaccine rollout efforts.

Assistant State Epidemiologist Dr. Jane Kelly said South Carolina has received more than 4.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. According to DHEC’s website, about 72% of those doses have been administered.

The number of doses administered per day in South Carolina peaked in April. Last week, the average number of doses administered right now is about 3700 doses per day.

There are hundreds of thousands of doses in inventory, according to DHEC’s dashboard.

State health officials and providers are doing everything they can to minimize the amount of doses that expire while in inventory. Assistant State Epidemiologist Dr Jane Kelly said, “It’s the goal of all providers to be good stewards of the COVID-19 vaccines – specifically by paying close attention to the expiration date and using short dated vaccines first.”

At one point, South Carolina scaled back their vaccine requests due to decrease in demand. Because of this drop in demand, some doses have gone unused. DHEC said the latest data from the federal government shows 4,738 doses delivered to South Carolina have expired up to mid-May.

Dr. Kelly said, “Inevitably we’re going to have some vaccine expire, we have so much more vaccine available now that’s not our main concerns, it’s getting vaccine into arms.”

According to Kelly, expiration dates vary by lot number and type of vaccine. Dr. Kelly said giving providers and others flexibility is key to making sure doses are used in a timely manner.

The full briefing can be seen in the video player above.

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