To continue its rapid delivery of COVID-19 vaccine across its communities and in response to the challenges seen in the 70+ population with making online appointments, Prisma Health is offering appointment assistance at its COVID-19 vaccination centers for those who meet current vaccine federal eligibility requirements, effective immediately.

Prisma Health is currently the largest distributer of vaccines in South Carolina and covers a 21-county market area. Individuals age 70+ who do not have access to computers or smart phones may be able to receive in-person assistance for scheduling and then the vaccination at every Prisma Health site except Richland Hospital in Columbia.

While most Prisma Health hospital vaccination sites are taking a limited number of same-day registration/vaccination, when the patient flow creates unsafe conditions for the community or staff, people will be diverted to our two new large-scale community sites, one in Greenville and one in Columbia.

Scheduling assistance is available at Prisma Health vaccination sites on a first-come, first-served basis for a small number of people. Scheduled appointments take priority and, due to the expected large demand for same-day assistance, long waits standing in line might occur for this in-person assistance service and to receive the vaccination.

The fastest way through the vaccination site is still an email appointment using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS), as you simply walk in for your scheduled time at the any area site of your choice (not limited to Prisma Health).

Individuals with those online-scheduled appointments confirmed in the CDC VAMS, should continue to show up at their scheduled appointment time.

Prisma Health is also developing a toolkit to share with community groups who could use it to assist those 70+ with creating emails and accessing the CDC VAMS system, which, as noted, is the fastest method to an appointment without standing in line.

“We are extremely pleased in the interest in our community for individuals age 70+ in the COVID-19 vaccinations,” said Dr. Saria Saccocio, chief ambulatory medical officer for Prisma Health and co-chair of its COVID-19 Task Force. “We continue to fine-tune our processes to accommodate as many of our senior citizens who need assistance in scheduling their vaccine appointments, as well as those with confirmed appointments.”

Prisma Health has one large-scale COVID-19 vaccination site in the Midlands, which currently only administer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine: Prisma Health Drive-Thru Vaccination Site in Columbia, SC, 22 National Guard Rd., Columbia, SC 29201 (Gamecock Park near UofSC Williams Brice Stadium)

- The drive-through vaccination site is open Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

- This vaccine site is for appointments through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).

- Limited assistance and vaccine slots for individuals 70+ without computer and/or smart phone access; requires waiting in drive-thru line.

Those eligible for vaccines at this time should schedule their appointment by using the online form available at www.PrismaHealth.org/Vaccine or call 833-2PRISMA (833-277-4762) for assistance. Please do not call individual physician practices, pharmacies or hospitals about vaccines.

“We will continue to get as many shots in arms as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Saccocio. “We are asking the public for their patience, as right now the number of people wanting a vaccine far, far exceeds the vaccine supply we receive from public health officials. Rest assured, we use every COVID-19 dose we receive, and as quickly as we can.”

South Carolina remains phase 1a of COVID-19 vaccination distribution, which includes the following:

• People age 70 and older regardless of health status or preexisting conditions

• Hospitalized, non-COVID patients age 65 and up

Healthcare workers:

• Front-line physicians, nurses and other team members

• All hospital staff and independent physician practices

• Community first responders such as EMTs and firefighters

• Staff at Federally Qualified Health Centers and free medical clinics

• School nurses

• Dentists and oral surgeons

• Funeral home personnel

For the full list of those who are eligible, visit: https://scdhec.gov/sites/default/files/Library/CR-012873.pdf

For more information about Prisma Health’s vaccination process, visit PrismaHealth.org/Vaccine.

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