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The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is currently conducting a trial of the AstraZeneca vaccine which, if approved, would give eligible South Carolinians looking to book an appointment a fourth option.

The vaccine can be refrigerated for up to six months, but some national experts are questioning data released by AstraZeneca in a Monday press release, where the company said its vaccine was 79% effective against COVID-19 and had 100% efficacy against severe disease and hospitalization.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — a group that also monitors the three approved vaccines — raised concerns that data provided by AstraZeneca was outdated, and the company responded by saying that the numbers were based on data with a cutoff date on Feb. 17.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who called the company’s Monday press release an “unforced error,” said that AstraZeneca would likely release another statement regarding the trial data on Wednesday.

In South Carolina, the trial continues at MUSC, where hospital officials said during a Tuesday press briefing they have distributed nearly 150,000 doses of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines since December.

DHEC announced 436 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to 460,736. Out of 14,007 tests, 4.7% came back positive.

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