YORK COUNTY, S.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- With South Carolina’s percent positive rate hovering around 30 percent, the Department of Health and Environmental Control is working to get doses of the vaccine into people’s arms.

However, DHEC is facing some criticism for moving too slow and reports say that Governor Henry McMaster is demanding they do better.

South Carolina’s vaccine plan has three phases: Phase 1A, which will continue into February, includes residents and staff of long-term care facilities, healthcare personnel, and critical infrastructure workers.

“We are going to be sending messages out to phase 1a members through likely their licensing entities or their associations with a website where they can sign-up for dhec and then they will be notified when there is a vaccination site near them, so that they can make an appointment,” Interim Public Health Director Dr. Brannon Traxler said.

So far, DHEC officials report having received 146,250 first-and second round doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

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As of today, 33 percent or about 47, 500 of those doses have been administered. State lawmakers have been critical of the rollout.

Dr. Traxler admits to a slow start.

“Combining that complex vaccine and the requirements that go into it, into plans to rollout the vaccines to millions and millions of people as absolutely fast as we can, it just takes a couple or a few weeks to get into a smooth rhythm,” he said.

But Gov. McMaster said today that he’s not willing to wait.

“We expect to see some progress. If we don’t see some progress we will cause some progress. We will issue the orders and issue the directives necessary so the people who are out there who are ready and willing will be able to get that vaccine without delay,” said Gov. McMaster.

Officials say getting people vaccinated will help ease the strain on overburdened hospital systems.

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