Prisma Health will consolidate its vaccination sites from 12 locations to six over the next few weeks due to limited vaccine supply, the health system’s vaccine task force co-chair, Dr. Saria Saccocio, said at a news conference on Thursday, Feb. 11.
The sites closed to vaccine appointments are Hillcrest and Pagewood hospitals on Feb. 15; Baptist Easley, Richland hospitals and Baptist Park Ridge Hospital on Feb. 22; and Greer Memorial Hospital on March 1. Appointments made at those hospitals will be automatically moved to the remaining locations.
Prisma’s primary vaccination sites in the Upstate will be at the former Kmart building in Greenville and The Ridge in Laurens County. The Oconee Memorial Hospital in Seneca will also serve as one of these primary locations.
“While these changes are primarily due to limited vaccine supply against severely limited vaccine supply, this also allows us to serve patients more efficiently manage the vaccine administration process more effectively and streamline site logistics,” said Saccocio.
Saccocio said that Prisma requested 58,500 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine but received confirmation for a little over 37,000. The health system received only 17,550 doses.
She said that while Prisma could adminster 10,000 doses a day, they can’t with their limited supply.
“With appointments opening for the 65 to 69 year-olds for the vaccine the increased demand continues to far exceed our supply of vaccine,” explained Saccocio. “Planning continues to be extremely difficult especially considering that we’re trying to meet the needs of those with scheduled appointments.”
Prisma has been able to retrieve about six doses safely from each vaccine vial, which had been measured to have five doses in each, allowing it to have given out 142% of the doses the hospital system had been given.
Saccocio said that Prisma has asked for access to the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine but the health system has not been given confirmation.
Earlier this week a shipment that was supposed to have the vaccine arrived to the Kmart site with only medical supplies — no vaccines.
“We also recognize that it has been an extremely difficult week, and oftentimes disappointing for those who had their appointments canceled, or rescheduled because the vaccine supply just did not show,” said Saccocio. “We can’t wait to increase this vaccine supply so that we can get the shots in the arms to those who are 65 and the other individuals that will be eligible in the near future. Again, it all depends on the vaccine supply.”
For information on scheduling an appointment with Prisma to receive the vaccine go to www.PrismaHealth.org/Vaccine.