COLUMBIA, S.C. – The final first doses of COVID-19 vaccine at the Community Vaccination Clinic (CVC) at Columbia Place Mall were administered yesterday, capping off an eight-week mass vaccination site that has made South Carolina a safer and healthier place to live. South Carolinians and visitors from other states received more than 21,000 doses of vaccine at the FEMA-supported, large-scale vaccination clinic, which was a partnership between the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD), Richland County and the City of Columbia.
FEMA helped organize CVC sites in nearly every state across the country as part of national efforts to increase vaccine availability. In South Carolina, the CVC operated from April 14 through June 9, and primarily offered the Pfizer vaccine. During the final two weeks, the single-dose Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine was offered in addition to Pfizer.
A total of 21,644 vaccine doses were administered during the eight-week campaign. The Pfizer brand accounted for 20,093 doses, including 13,623 first doses and 6,470 second doses. During the two weeks of Janssen shots, 1,551 doses of the vaccine brand were administered. At least 5,600 additional second-dose Pfizer shots were scheduled at the site prior to Wednesday. Those doses will be administered over the next two weeks and will count toward the final CVC total.
“We could not be more thankful for our partners, nurses, doctors, and most importantly, our willing residents who rolled up their sleeves and received their life-saving doses of vaccine,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Public Health Director. “All of these people played an important role in keeping South Carolina safe and we are truly grateful for their hard work and dedication.”
The CVC was open seven days a week, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to ensure those who work long hours could still find time to get vaccinated. In addition, its location at Columbia Place Mall provided a central location in the state and met the need of providing access to an underserved area of the city. The clinic included language translators, free rides via The COMET, drive-through and walk-in options, and required no appointments, photo IDs, insurance or other documentation ―all to help remove any barriers between residents and vaccinations.
During a site visit in mid-May, federal partners informed DHEC and EMD staff that South Carolina’s CVC site was one of the only ones in the nation seeing an increase in the daily number of people visiting the site for vaccinations at that time.
“South Carolina’s community vaccination center was a success due to the efforts of the State Emergency Response Team and numerous partner agencies throughout the eight-week long clinic,” said Kim Stenson, SCEMD Director. “We are proud of the work that led to more than 21,000 people choosing to protect themselves against a virus that’s caused so many hardships in the state and across the country.”
DHEC continues to urge all eligible residents to get vaccinated. Those ages 12 and older can receive the Pfizer vaccine, and 18 and older can receive the Moderna or Janssen vaccines. For more information, visit DHEC’s vaccine page. To find a vaccine provider near you, visit the agency’s vaccine locator.