The director of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control issued a public statement Friday assuring the public that more flu shots are expected to arrive soon at county health clinics.

But until the back-ordered vaccine doses arrive, patients covered by private health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid have been asked by DHEC to get vaccinated somewhere else.

“It is important for people to understand DHEC is open for business as usual and will continue serving the public this flu season,” Templeton said in the prepared statement. “As soon as we receive our shipment of vaccines for adults with insurance, we will begin offering flu shots to these individuals as well.”

A DHEC press release explained the shots were originally ordered in March but have been back-ordered by the manufacturer.

DHEC spokesman Mark Plowden wrote in an email to The Post and Courier on Thursday that the department began alerting patients that flu shots would be prioritized for the uninsured last year.

Plowden wrote the back-ordered vaccine doses are expected to arrive by Nov. 1

Flu season in South Carolina is already ramping up. According to DHEC’s weekly flu report, 46 patients across the state tested positive for the flu between Sept. 29 and Oct. 6 by a rapid antigen test.

Two cases have been confirmed in the Lowcountry, including one case in Charleston County.

Reach Lauren Sausser at 937-5598.