Millions of South Carolina residents will soon be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations.
Gov. Henry McMaster said Tuesday the following groups will be able to make COVID-19 vaccination appointments beginning March 8:
- 55 and over
- Those over 16 with high-risk medical conditions including cancer, obesity, HIV, AIDS, pregnancy, heart disease, and special needs
- Frontline workers including teachers, school staff, law enforcement officers, daycare workers, grocery story workers
- Individuals at increased risk in settings where people are living and working in close contact (such as homeless shelters and prisons)
Approximately 2.7 million people in South Carolina are in these qualifying groups. Here is the full list of eligible individuals.
DHEC clarified that employees eligible for the vaccine must work in-person at a job “that puts them at increased risk of exposure due to their frequent, close (less than 6 feet) and ongoing (more than 15 minutes) contact with others in the work environment.”
State health officials said Tuesday that South Carolina has recently seen an increase of vaccine supply.
“South Carolina remains focused on protecting the lives and health of South Carolinians from COVID-19,” Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director, said. “With the significant increase in vaccine supply and progress in vaccinating people in group 1a, front-line health care workers and those aged 65 and over, we are now ready to move to our next phase.”
McMaster again urged that now that teachers are eligible for vaccinations, school districts must start implementing 5-day face-to-face learning.
More than 1 million vaccines have been administered in South Carolina so far as a part of the first phase, which allowed individuals over 65 to get vaccinated.
“We’re asking South Carolinians to consider others, and the fact that this plan is risk-based to prevent severe illness and death,” Simmer said. “You’re urged to not jump the line and put your loved ones, friends or neighbors at risk by doing so.”
According to the CDC, South Carolina is the 8th worst state in the U.S. for the number of vaccine doses administered per 100,000 citizens.
DHEC officials estimate that they will move into the next vaccination phase — which will vaccinate those over 45 and essential workers — by April 12.
By May 3, SCDHEC officials anticipate that vaccines will be open for anyone over 16.
Information from DHEC
How will people demonstrate eligibility?
When seeking vaccine services, people included in Phase 1b or 1c may show eligibility by showing an ID that includes their date of birth, verifying that they meet the criteria for a frontline or essential worker, or by verifying that they have an eligible high-risk medical condition.
This story will be updated.
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