SC to enter phase 1B of vaccination plan on Monday

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– In a press conference held Tuesday morning, Governor Henry McMaster announced that South Carolina will enter phase 1B of the state’s vaccination plan on March 8.

“Throughout South Carolina’s vaccination efforts, our priority has been – and continues to be – saving lives,” said Governor McMaster. “In the month of February, South Carolina made tremendous progress on expanding access to vaccinations as the supply of vaccine increased. Our hospitals, pharmacies and healthcare providers became more nimble and efficient at getting shots in arms. Because of these successes, we’re now in a position to make the majority of South Carolinians eligible to receive the vaccine.”

The governor was also joined by South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Director Dr. Edward Simmer. “South Carolina remains focused on protecting the lives and health of South Carolinians from COVID-19,” said Dr. Simmer. “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. Our state’s vaccine plan prioritizes those with greatest risk, while ensuring equal access to the vaccine for every South Carolinian aged 16 and over.”

Beginning Monday, DHEC say those in the following groups can begin scheduling their vaccination appointments:

  • Anyone aged 55 and up
  • People with increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
    • People aged 16-64 with one or more of the following high-risk medical conditions:
      • Cancer (current, not a history of cancer), chronic kidney disease (any stage), chronic lung disease, diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2), Down syndrome, heart disease (congestive heart disease, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, pulmonary hypertension), HIV/AIDS, solid organ transplant, obesity (BMI >30), pregnancy, sickle cell disease.
    • People who have a developmental or other severe high-risk disability that makes developing severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 infection more likely
  • Frontline workers with increased occupational risk (includes school staff, daycare workers, grocery
    • Frontline workers with increased occupational risk are people who:
      • Must be in-person at their place of work, and
      • Perform 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
      • Individuals at increased risk in settings where people are living and working in close contact
      • Residents and workers in group home settings for the mentally or physically disabled or those with behavioral or substance abuse conditions
      • Workers and residents in homeless shelters
      • Workers and residents in community training homes
      • State and local correctional facility staff with direct inmate contact
      • Correctional and immigration detention facility inmates
      • Migrant farmworkers living in shared housing or reliant on shared transportation
      • All workers in healthcare and community health settings who have routine, direct patient contact and were not vaccinated in Phase 1a

Officials also provided estimates as to when we can expect to move into the next phases of the vaccine plan. Officials expect to enter phase 1C on approximately April 12. Phase 1C includes those 45-years-old and up and essential workers as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Officials expect to enter phase 2 around May 3. This phase includes all South Carolinians age 16 and up.

You can find a vaccine provider and information about scheduling an appointment of DHEC’s website.

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