Editor's note: Aiken Regional was granted a waiver from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control on Wednesday night, and the clinic is now able to administer the vaccine to people 55 and older on Thursday.
USC Aiken is hosting a large-scale COVID-19 vaccination clinic today and Thursday in collaboration with Aiken Regional Medical Centers by appointment; however, walk-ins are being accepted, too.
Aiken Regional is providing the vaccines at the USCA Student Activities Center, 471 University Parkway; the vaccination clinic will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The hospital will administer 3,900 Moderna vaccine doses during the two-day effort, 300 of which were given on Wednesday.
The clinic is open to any residents who are in phase 1a, meaning health care workers, all residents aged 65 or older, long-term care facility staff and residents, and those who are maintaining operations of COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in the state.
Multiple tables were set up for residents to receive the vaccine, so people were being cycled in and out during the morning.
Appointments are still available for the Thursday clinic and must be scheduled through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Vaccine Administration Management System, or VAMS. Walk-ins will also be accepted.
“Our goal in offering these two COVID-19 Moderna Vaccine clinics is to extend an additional invitation to the rural communities within and surrounding Aiken County," said Eric Muhlbaier, administrative director of support services at Aiken Regional. "In doing so, we’ve worked closely with community and church leaders asking them to spread the word about these two walk-in clinics for Phase 1A eligible residents. With the support of staff and volunteers, we’ve been able to help those with limited or no internet access register within the CDC VAMS system and receive a vaccine. We hope the invitation to these clinics will ease the burden of trying to find an appointment online, allowing more Phase 1A individuals to get vaccinated. Those who receive their first Moderna dose today or tomorrow will have their second dose appointment scheduled and secured prior to leaving.”
Registration instructions for VAMS can be found online at aikenregional.com and clicking the "Read now" button at the top of the page and then scrolling down and clicking the button reading "Complete the vaccine request form."
For residents who are already registered in VAMS, the appointments can be found on the system's website.
Those receiving the vaccine during the clinics will have their second doses administered in the same location on Wednesday, March 31, and Thursday, April 1; second doses will be scheduled after the first dose.
South Carolina health authorities confirmed 32 COVID-19 cases and three probable coronavirus-related deaths in Aiken County on Wednesday.
The probable deaths occurred between Jan. 23 and Feb. 25. One victim was middle-aged, one was elderly and the other is under investigation.
The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed a total of 583 cases and 18 deaths across the state Wednesday.
The data reported Wednesday is for the date of March 1.
As of March 3, South Carolina has received 1,292,520 total doses of COVID-19 vaccine and has administered 995,309. There are currently 531,295 vaccine appointments scheduled throughout the state.
A total of 22,679 COVID-19 vaccines, which includes first and second doses, have been administered in Aiken County.
CVS in Aiken is now accepting vaccine appointments. To make an appointment, or to view a list of other CVS locations offering the vaccine, visit cvs.com and click "Check vaccine availability." Residents without online access can call the CVS customer service line at 800-746-7287.
Wednesday's report brings the total confirmed number of COVID-19 cases in Aiken County to 12,150, with 170 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths.
Aiken County also has reported a total of 3,729 probable COVID-19 cases and 40 probable coronavirus-related deaths.
In neighboring Barnwell and Edgefield counties, three and nine virus cases were confirmed, respectively, on Wednesday. There was also two probable coronavirus-related deaths in Edgefield County occurring on Jan. 26 and 27. The age of both victims is under investigation.
According to DHEC's acute hospital bed occupancy report, Aiken County hospitals are at 86.5% occupancy. There are 134 beds occupied, while there are 21 beds open. Across the entire state, there are 706 COVID-19 patients hospitalized.
The total number of individual test results reported to DHEC statewide Wednesday was 9,277, and the percent positive was 9.6%.
The total number of cases statewide is now 446,169, with 73,827 probable cases, 7,626 confirmed deaths and 994 probable deaths.