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Rural SC pharmacy sees pause in vaccine supply as Johnson & Johnson shots are delayed

According to DHEC, the agency has been told to expect a decrease in the Johnson and Johnson vaccine this week and next week.

SUMTER, S.C. — For months Kevin Miller was in the ‘wait and see’ phase, unsure if he’d get a coronavirus vaccine.

The night before his shot, “I toss and turned all night, worrying about the outcome of it.”

He worried about what could happen if he got the vaccine and what could happen without it, but on Monday, he made the decision to get it at Sumter Cut Rate Drugs, a place, he said, that felt like home.

“Just lost a very close… childhood friend and that motivated me to go through with it,” Miller said. “(Cut Rate) was always my grandma, my family pharmacy. My name is still on the books here. So, if I was going to do anything, I was going to go back to my roots.”

Credit: Kayland Hagwood
Kevin Miller

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Each of the available vaccines have been deemed safe and effective.

“The process was pleasing. The shot was quick. A little sting, but other than that I feel okay,” Miller said.

He received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine – one of about 300 the pharmacy has received so far.

“There was some indication that we would get more Friday for this week, but they were not available,” Dr. John Holladay, the pharmacist, said. “So, we’re kind of disappointed in that, but all we can do is just wait on them to arrive and we’re very thankful there’s a big demand for it.”

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Credit: Kayland Hagwood
Dr. John Holladay

According to the S.C. Dept. of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the agency has been told to expect a decrease in the Johnson and Johnson vaccine this week and next week. They’re not expecting a decline in Moderna or Pfizer doses.

At Cut Rate, all their doses are now spoken for.

“We have many more on the waiting list,” Holladay said. “We’re looking forward to getting more vaccine so we can help them …. We just all have to be patient…. It’s going to be a few weeks, maybe two, three, four weeks before we have bigger spread of COVID vaccine.”

There are other locations to get a coronavirus vaccine in Sumter.

To find one near you click here to visit DHEC’s website.

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