COLUMBIA, S.C. — As we work around the clock to bring you answers to COVID-19 vaccine questions, we've seen more and more questions on the second dose of the vaccine.
While South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is stressing the importance of getting appointments for both doses of the vaccine, News19 viewers are reaching out saying scheduling that second shot is easier said than done.
“Dr. Traxler seems to be on there every night from DHEC and she keeps saying 'don’t leave your first shot without making another appointment.' which is totally contrary to what the folks (giving us the shot) were telling us," says Paul Burchell, a 73-year-old Sumter man who has been trying to get a second dose scheduled for himself and his wife.
The Burchells are frustrated and looking for answers. They received the first dose of their COVID-19 shot at a Prisma site at the fairgrounds but seem to be unable to get an appointment for their second.
“It seems like there’s no continuity, maybe, between the sites where the vaccines are being given, the people working the phones at the help desk, and what we’re hearing from DHEC," Paul Burchell tells News19.
In a COVID19 vaccine update Friday, Jan. 22, Dr. Brannon Traxler talked about how important signing up for the second dose is: “Only receiving one dose, or therefore an incomplete amount of the vaccine, could allow for variants to occur or strengthen at a faster rate. That’s why it’s so important for us each to do our part to get vaccinated when we can and that we get both doses of the vaccine when indicated.”
Dr. Traxler guarantees that there is a separate allocation for first and second doses so every provider should have a second dose for each patient who received the first.
The Burchells asked the nurse when getting the first shot how to sign up for the second and she told them to go online. They’ve since run into walls while trying to get it scheduled. “I appreciate all the people that are really helping out and trying to get this thing done because it’s a big chore, no doubt. My frustration comes from getting different stories from different people," Paul says.
The Burchells are going to just keep trying to get that second appointment, “I just want to find out how to do it," says Paul. "If someone could just tell me how to do it I would be happy.”
DEVELOPMENT: Since airing the story, a Prisma representative is reaching out to help Paul and Judy with their next appointment.