MUSC, school district to begin vaccinating teenagers in Charleston | COVID-19 | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

Starting April 26, the Charleston County School District will be offering the Pfizer vaccine to students age 16 and older through a partnership with the Medical University of South Carolina.

Pharmacists and doctors from MUSC Health will be supplying the shots at the district’s eight largest high schools; school nurses will be administering the vaccines. Students will be able to make appointments to receive the vaccines, which are not mandatory, through an online portal.

The Pfizer vaccine is the only one of the three authorized that is recommended to be used in people 16 and older. 

Although it is not required on a state level, students will need to have parental consent to receive the vaccine through their school. The online registration will include a section for providing parental consent. District spokesman Andy Pruitt said sign up links will be sent to students from their school.

Statewide numbers

New cases reported: 408 confirmed, 427 probable.

Total cases in S.C.: 477,395 confirmed, 94,853 probable.

Percent positive: 4.7 percent.

New deaths reported: 19 confirmed, 4 probable.

Total deaths in S.C.: 8,266 confirmed, 1,122 probable. 

Percent of ICU beds filled: 72 percent.

How S.C. ranks

South Carolina ranks 41st in the nation in the number of vaccines administered per 100,000 people as of April 21, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hardest-hit areas

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In the total number of newly confirmed cases, Greenville County (63), Charleston County (31) and Horry County (29) saw the highest totals. 

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What about tri-county?

Charleston County had 31 new cases on April 22, while Berkeley County had 19 and Dorchester County had 19.


Four of the confirmed deaths reported April 22 were in patients 35 to 64 years old, while 15 were in patients age 65 and older.


Of the 539 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of April 22, 136 were in the ICU and 59 were using ventilators.

What do experts say?

Results of a limited study at Rockefeller University in New York further raise concerns that the COVID-19 variants could be resistant to the available vaccines.

Researchers followed a group of 417 employees of the university who had received both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Two still got COVID-19, according to the results published April 21 in the New England Journal of Medicine. In both of the cases, at least two weeks had passed since the patients had received the second dose of the vaccine. Researchers found both of the employees had cases of a variant. 

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Each of the patients had mild cases and recovered.

The results only strengthen the argument to get vaccinated sooner than later.

“These observations in no way undermine the importance of the urgent efforts being taken at the federal and state levels to vaccinate the U.S. population,” the researchers wrote. “They also lend support to efforts to advance a new vaccine booster … to provide increased protection against variants.”

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