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Coronavirus (COVID-19) and COVID-19 Vaccine Information

COVID-19 Vaccine Effort

COVID-19 VACCINE DRIVE-THROUGH CLINIC INFORMATION

Carolina Pines is pleased to continue offering COVID-19 vaccinations in accordance with prioritization guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal government and our state. We are currently offering the vaccine to individuals in phase 1A along with individuals age 65+. Those who qualify for vaccination should call 843.656.0101 to schedule an appointment. No walk-ins will be accepted. We encourage everyone in our community to be a hero and get vaccinated once the vaccine is more widely available to our community members, hopefully in the coming months. 

We know there are a lot of questions about the emerging COVID-19 vaccines. Our goal is to keep you informed as vaccines are approved and rolled out for our workforce, patients and community in the weeks ahead.

We have created a list of common questions about the COVID-19 vaccines based on current knowledge and understanding. These questions will continue to evolve with time, so we encourage you to check back frequently for the most up-to-date information.

Common Questions About COVID-19 Vaccines:

  1. Who is currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine? When will it be available to the general public?

We are in the process of distributing the vaccine in accordance with prioritization guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the federal government and our state health departments. We are currently in phase 1A of vaccination, which includes:

 65+ year olds, regardless of health status or preexisting conditions
• Anesthesiology assistants, registered cardiovascular invasive specialists, and operating room
staff
• Athletic Trainers
• American Sign Language (ASL) and other interpreters in healthcare facilities
• Autopsy room staff, coroners, embalmers, and funeral home staff at risk of exposure to bodily
fluids
• Chiropractors
• Dentists and dental hygienists and technicians
• Dietary and food services staff in healthcare facilities
• Environmental services staff in healthcare facilities
• Harbor pilots
• Home health and hospice workers
• Hospital transport personnel
• Hospital inpatients 65 and older
• Laboratory personnel and phlebotomists
• Licensed dietitians
• Long-Term Care Facility (LTCF) residents and staff
• Medical assistants
• Medical first responders (paid and volunteer): EMS; fire department and law enforcement
personnel who provide emergency medical care
• Nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse’s aides/ assistants
• Opticians and optometrists and assistants/ technicians
• Persons providing medical care in correctional facilities and correctional officers
• Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians
• Physical and occupational therapists and assistants
• Physicians, including medical house staff (i.e., interns, residents, fellows), and physician
assistants
• Podiatrists
• Public health healthcare workers who are frequently interacting with persons with potential
COVID-19 infection
• Radiology technicians
• Respiratory care practitioners, such as respiratory therapists
• Speech language pathologists and assistants and audiologists
• State/local government employees and their contractors who are mission-critical for
maintaining operations of COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in SC
• Students and interns of the above categories.

Those who qualify for vaccination within phase 1A should call 843.656.0101. We encourage everyone in our community to get vaccinated once the vaccine is more widely available to our community members, hopefully in the coming months. 

  1. The vaccine was produced very quickly. How do I know it is safe?

The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Safety is the top priority while federal partners work to make the COVID-19 vaccines. Despite what the name may suggest, “Operation Warp Speed” does not mean that manufacturers were able to skip steps or cut corners in the vaccine development process. Instead, after development of the vaccine, manufacturers took a secured risk and overlapped the study, manufacturing and distribution phases. The FDA committed to giving these vaccinations priority (not rushed) review at all phases of the studies, which helped speed up the overall process. Ongoing monitoring of vaccine effectiveness and side effect reports will continue to be evaluated by the FDA and the manufacturers. 

  1. If I get the COVID-19 vaccine, should I still wear a mask?

Yes. For several reasons, a mask and other proven methods of preventing COVID-19 (hand hygiene and social distancing) are still important even after receiving the vaccine. It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it is possible that a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.

  1. If I have already had COVID-19 and recovered, should I still get the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available?

Yes, at this time the vaccine is recommended even if you previously tested positive for COVID-19. Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, individuals who have previously been infected with COVID-19 should proceed with getting the vaccine. However, due to limited vaccine supply at this time, you may be asked to wait to get the vaccine if you had COVID-19 within the previous 90 days, as the likelihood of reinfection during this time period is likely low.

  1. Can you contract COVID-19 by getting the vaccine?

No. The vaccine is NOT a live vaccine, and it is NOT possible to contract COVID-19 from receiving the vaccine. Some people experience side effects from the vaccine, such as headache, muscle pain, or fever – but that does not mean you have COVID-19.  It means your body is working to build the necessary immunity against the virus, which is a good thing. 

  1. What are the possible side effects/adverse events from the COVID-19 vaccine?

The most common adverse reactions reported have been fatigue, headache, fever/chills and joint pain. This means your body is working to build the necessary immunity against the virus.

You can read more in Pfizer’s FDA Briefing Document about the side effects reported among the vaccine study participants. 

  1. Can the COVID-19 vaccine be administered to children?

The COVID-19 vaccine is not indicated for children younger than 16 years old at this time.

  1. Can the COVID-19 vaccine be administered to pregnant women?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that COVID-19 vaccines should not be withheld from pregnant individuals. It is important to note that the COVID-19 vaccines currently available have not been tested in pregnant women, so there is no safety data specific to use in pregnancy. Pregnant women should make an informed decision after discussing with their healthcare provider.

  1. How many doses are required? If multiple, when do I get another dose?

For both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, two doses are required. The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine should be administered 21 days after the first dose. The second dose of the Moderna vaccine should be administered 28 days after the first dose. It is very important to note that the second dose must be from the same manufacturer as the first dose. 

  1. What should I do if I am unable to get the second dose exactly 21 days (Pfizer) or 28 days (Moderna) after the first dose?

While it is recommended that you receive the second dose as soon as feasible after day 21 or day 28, we understand that it might not be possible to receive it on the desired date. This could be due to multiple reasons. Please keep the following in mind if you cannot receive the second vaccine dose on the desired date:

  1. You must receive the second dose from the same manufacturer as the first dose.
  2. Get the second dose as soon as possible after the desired date has passed, as it is better to get the second dose late than not at all. You will still experience the same efficacy in the long run, although you may not see the full effect of the immunity until a few weeks after the second dose.

 

  1. How long after receiving both doses of the vaccine until it is considered effective?

Similar to the flu vaccine, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection. As a general rule, the vaccine is considered effective about two weeks after the second dose, according to the manufacturers. There is evidence that the first dose will begin providing some immunity, but it is still very important to receive the second dose for optimal results.

  1. Can I choose which vaccine I get (Pfizer or Moderna)?

We do not recommend waiting for a specific manufacturer. Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have similar efficacy and potential side effects, and have shown decreased disease severity in the small numbers of study participants who contracted COVID-19 after receiving the vaccine. Both manufacturers require two doses. It is important to remember that the second dose you receive must be from the same manufacturer. Early defense is better than no defense against COVID-19.

13. Should those who experience significant side effects from their first COVID-19 vaccine dose expect significant or worse side effects with the second dose? What about those who were previously COVID-19-positive?

Based on data from each vaccine, there appears to be an increased incidence of experiencing certain side effects from the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine compared to the first dose (e.g., fever, fatigue, headache, chills, muscle pain, and joint pain). This does not mean that all vaccine recipients will experience these side effects with the first or second dose. A full list of the reported side effects comparing Dose 1 and Dose 2 may be found within the Pfizer BioNTech EUA Fact Sheet and the Moderna EUA Fact Sheet. At this time, we do not have definitive data to state whether vaccine side effects are worse in patients who were previously positive for COVID-19.

14. How long will I need to be observed after I get the vaccine?

In general, a 30-minute observation period is recommended for anyone with a history of severe allergic reactions (due to any cause), and a 15-minute observation period is recommended for all other individuals.

15. Will the COVID-19 vaccine result in a false positive COVID-19 test?

No, COVID-19 vaccination will not cause a false positive COVID-19 viral test. Per CDC guidance, the immunity response from a COVID-19 vaccine could possibly result in a positive antibody test, which indicates previous infection and potential protection against the virus.

16. If I become COVID-19-positive following my first dose of the vaccine, should I take the second dose?

Per CDC guidance, you may receive the vaccine (either dose) following resolution of symptoms, if any, and completion of the quarantine period.

17. What ingredients are included in the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine?

Ingredients for the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines can be found via this CDC link. Individuals with allergies to any of the vaccine components should discuss concerns with their healthcare provider before receiving the vaccine.

Quick Links

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov)
Local/state health department – https://www.scdhec.gov
State hospital association – https://scha.org/

Visitor Restrictions

Here at Carolina Pines, we continue to closely monitor the prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) in our community and follow state and federal guidance as we adapt our operations to safely care for and support our patients. 

EFFECTIVE WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9:



  • Patients will be limited to ONE well visitor PER HOSPITAL STAY, including one companion for hospital ambulatory appointments and one support person for obstetrics patients.
  • Visitation is from 8 AM - 8 PM each day.
  • All visitors must be at least 16 years of age.
  • Visitors are NOT allowed for patients under observation for or who test positive for COVID-19.
  • ALL patients and visitors will be screened, have their temperature taken and will be required to wear a mask and an armband indicating they have been screened upon entry. 
  • Visitors will NOT be permitted into the facility if they do not have a mask or if they have symptoms related to COVID-19.

Signage is being posted around the facility notifying visitors and the community of these new restrictions and guidelines.

Thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation as we work to maintain a safe environment for our patients and team.

Once again, we want to assure our community that it is safe to come to Carolina Pines should you need care. We're here for you today, and always.

Universal Masking

Carolina Pines is taking every precaution to keep our patients and staff safe, and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our facilities. For this reason, we are following the CDC recommendation that anyone who enters our facility must wear a face mask at all times.

Visitors are required to bring their own mask from home to help conserve hospital supplies for patients and staff.

Why wear a mask? Recent studies show that universal masking, in addition to practicing social distancing and proper hand hygiene, can help prevent the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, especially in individuals who may not know they are ill. And until there is a vaccine, these measures are our best line of defense in protecting not only you, but also our healthcare workers and community members.

Please be smart and do your part. Wear a mask! We all have a responsibility to protect one another against the spread of COVID-19 and make our communities healthier.

For more information from the CDC on face coverings and how to make your own, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-make-cloth-face-covering.html

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

A: Patients with COVID-19 have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever greater than 100 degrees or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Q: Are there different strains of coronavirus?

A: Yes, there are seven different coronaviruses known to infect humans.  

Four of the seven coronaviruses are very common, more mild (similar to the common cold), and most people will be infected with at least one of them in their lifetime. Healthcare providers test for these common coronaviruses routinely, and no public health measures are needed to address these common coronaviruses. People infected with the common coronaviruses can avoid passing them to others by covering their coughs and sneezes, cleaning their hands frequently and containing germs by staying home when ill. 

Three of the seven coronaviruses are rare and can cause more severe illness; this includes COVID-19. Testing for this virus can only be done at CDC; healthcare providers are not able to test for this virus independent of the public health department.

Q: What is the risk of exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

A: The risk to the general public remains low at this time. Right now, influenza is a much more significant threat to Americans. Protect yourself from the flu: 

  • It’s not too late to get your flu vaccine.
  • If you are sick, stay home or seek appropriate medical care.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.

Q: What should I do if I traveled to China and feel sick with fever, cough or difficulty breathing?

A: Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a healthcare office, call ahead and tell them about your travel and your symptoms.

Q: Is there a vaccine?

A: There is currently no vaccine to protect against COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

Q: Is there a treatment?

A: There is no specific antiviral treatment for COVID-19, but people with this virus can seek medical care to help relieve symptoms.

Q: How can I help protect myself?

A: The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. There are simple, everyday actions you can take to help prevent spreading germs that cause respiratory viruses. These include:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Close contact is defined as being within approximately 6 feet, or within the room or care area, of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time while not wearing recommended personal protective equipment (PPE). Close contact can also include caring for, living with, visiting or sharing a healthcare waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case. Having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (such as being coughed on) while not wearing recommended PPE.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

If you are sick, to keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.