Historic 1st: Hospital gets c-19 vaccine
By Jerry Bellune
Lexington Medical Center received its 1st covid-19 vaccine Tuesday.
UPS delivered 2,925 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to the West Columbia hospital at 9:30 am, Jennifer Wilson of LMC reported.
The doses arrived in a box packed with dry ice that included GPS tracking and a thermometer to monitor the temperature.
Lexington Medical Center freezers are set at minus 70° celsius to store the doses.
Those caring for covid patients received the 1st shots Tuesday at 3 pm.
Gen. Gustave Perna, head of Operation Warp Speed, said 145 distribution sites were to receive the vaccine Monday, 425 sites Tuesday and 66 sites Wednesday.
Gen. Perna said, “We want to make sure that the vaccine arrived at a time where the professionals are available to receive it.”
Lexington Medical Center Extended Care has sent letters to families for each resident outlining the vaccine process with consent forms, she said. So far, less than 25% have responded.
Walgreens will let Extended Care know when it receives the vaccine and schedule a date and time for residents to receive it.
Walgreens staffers will give it through a contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Gen. Perna said in 3 weeks Operation Warp Speed will distribute vaccines directly to local pharmacies which have ultra-cold storage.
The Chronicle is checking local pharmacies’ storage capability and procedures.
Some states say they have only a fraction of the federal funding they need to pay for staffing, public education and tracking who has received both vaccine doses.
It’s unclear about plans to vaccinate millions of Americans or how to pay for it..
Perna sees 40 million doses for 20 million of us by the end of December.
SC’s covid deaths have dropped under 4% for 2 weeks. Deaths as of Dec. 12 were 3.9% of reported cases.
The week before it had dropped to 3.5%, according to research by scientist, author and Chronicle reader Jay Schabacker.
Despite a world average of 5% and US average of 6%, the SC death rate was down – 4,496 total deaths as of Dec. 5 and 4,673 as of Dec. 12, an increase of 177 deaths to date.