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McMaster says more vaccines are coming to S.C. in March

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More COVID-19 vaccines should be coming into South Carolina in March, according to S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster.

McMaster announced the news Friday during a telephone town hall hosted by AARP. McMaster said this information has been repeatedly conveyed to him from Washington for months.

However, McMaster did caution that this still isn't going to allow everyone who wants a vaccine to immediately get one.

"In a nutshell, we do not have enough vaccination coming into the state," McMaster said.

The governor did, however, say he's pleased with how the virus is being handled in the state and that things will continue to improve.

"In South Carolina, because we know each other, because we talk to each other, communicate and work together as a team, a lot of things are going much more smoothly here than they are in a lot of other very fine places," McMaster said. "We just seem to be able to do things a little bit better, and I’m very proud of that and happy to be a part of it and happy that (AARP) is as well."

South Carolina health authorities confirmed 41 COVID-19 cases and one coronavirus-related death in Aiken County on Friday.

The death occurred Feb. 13, and the resident was elderly.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed a total of 1,585 cases and 51 coronavirus-related deaths across South Carolina on Friday.

The data reported Friday is for the date of Feb. 17.

As of Feb. 19, South Carolina has received 1,100,750 total doses of COVID-19 vaccine and has administered 731,416. There are currently 481,047 vaccine appointments scheduled throughout the state.

A total of 17,225 COVID-19 vaccines, which includes first and second doses, have been administered in Aiken County.

CVS is now offering the COVID-19 vaccine at many of its locations around South Carolina, including Aiken. At this time, most of the appointments are booked, but more will be added as they become available.

University Health Care System is conducting a reservation-only Moderna vaccination clinic for South Carolina residents aged 65 and older who have seen a University Hospital physician in the past 18 months.

The clinic will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday at Millbrook Baptist Church, 223 South Aiken Blvd. S.E. Residents will return at the same appointment time on March 23 for the second dose.

Appointments must be made online. Appointments cannot be made over the phone.

Residents can sign up for future vaccination clinics being held by Rural Health Services on the organization's website.

Friday's report brings the total confirmed number of COVID-19 cases in Aiken County to 11,823, with 164 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths.

Aiken County also has reported a total of 3,144 probable COVID-19 cases and 33 probable coronavirus-related deaths.

In neighboring Barnwell and Edgefield counties, 26 and 22 virus cases were confirmed, respectively, on Friday. There was also a confirmed death in Barnwell County on Feb. 3 of an elderly resident, as well as a confirmed death in Edgefield County on Feb. 8 of an elderly resident.

According to DHEC's acute hospital bed occupancy report, Aiken County hospitals are at 81.9% occupancy. There are 127 beds occupied, while there are 28 beds open. Across the entire state, there are 1,122 COVID-19 patients hospitalized.

The total number of individual test results reported to DHEC statewide Friday was 27,073, and the percent positive was 8.7%.

The total number of cases statewide is now 432,780, with 65,157 probable cases, 7,325 confirmed deaths and 888 probable deaths.

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