Tidelands Health has already curtailed some procedures, stands ready to vaccinate thousands when government supplies vaccineJanuary 19, 2021Jan. 16, 2021
Contact: Dawn Bryant
News for Immediate Release:
In response to Gov. Henry McMaster’s letter to the South Carolina Hospital Association Friday afternoon calling on hospitals to reduce elective procedures and increase vaccine efforts, Tidelands Health issues the following statement:
Tidelands Health stands ready to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to the people of our region as quickly as possible.
Since Wednesday, we have received more than 30,000 vaccine requests from individuals 70 and older. The vaccine we have in stock today will allow us to vaccinate approximately 3,000 of those individuals next week, in addition to delivering first and second doses to Phase 1a mission-critical workers who are already scheduled to receive their vaccine.
At the request of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, we have administered vaccine not only to our own health care workforce but also to the Phase 1a workers of more than 200 regional employers. To date, we have administered more than 3,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in total. We are proud to have supported the region’s vaccine rollout by “vaccinating the vaccinators,” administering the vaccine to the staffs of area physician offices, pharmacies and the regional health department, among others.
We have also taken extensive steps to expand our vaccination efforts. We have secured community facilities to launch our vaccine clinics for the 70-plus population beginning Monday, and we are in process of hiring up to 200 temporary workers to support these expanded operations. We have also contracted with call centers to help us more efficiently manage requests for vaccine appointments.
We are doing all this while dealing with surging numbers of COVID-19 hospitalizations. As of Friday, our hospitals are at 103 percent capacity, with our critical care units at 116 percent capacity. We have already curtailed some surgeries and procedures that are not time-sensitive to redirect clinical staff to the care of hospitalized patients.
We have also reassigned nurses in non-clinical roles back to the bedside, and we continue to hire contract nursing staff and offer incentives to our clinicians who pick up extra shifts.
Further, we are one of a small number of hospitals in South Carolina offering monoclonal antibody therapy, which has been shown to reduce COVID-19 hospitalizations.
We understand widespread vaccination is the best way to end the COVID-19 pandemic. And we are prepared to vaccinate up to 5,000 people per week. At this moment, the only limiting factor is the availability of vaccine from the government. Like all South Carolina hospitals, we have been told to expect less vaccine – not more – in the coming weeks.
We are calling on our state leaders to do all they can to secure additional vaccine for the people of South Carolina. Tidelands Health stands ready to deliver this lifesaving vaccine to our community – as soon as we have the vaccine available to do so.
As the trusted health care partner of thousands of South Carolinians, Tidelands Health will continue to devote time, staffing and resources to vaccinate our community as quickly as the state’s vaccine supply will allow us to carry out this lifesaving public health effort.
About Tidelands Health
Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider and MUSC Health affiliate, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 60 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners work side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.Contact:Dawn Bryant , Senior Communications Strategist, Marketing and Communicationsdbryant@tidelandshealth.org, (843) 652-1636
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