From staff reports
Governor Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced Tuesday, March 2, South Carolina will advance to Phase 1b of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan beginning Monday, March 8.
South Carolina’s phased approach to its COVID-19 vaccine rollout recognizes the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19 increases with age, and people with certain medical conditions and occupations are at higher risk of exposure to the virus. Because of this, South Carolina will continue to move phase by phase, based on risk level, with the goal of vaccinating every South Carolinian who wants to receive a vaccine by this summer.
Beginning March 8, appointments to get the COVID-19 vaccine can be made by people in the following groups:
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 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. Examples of frontline workers include, but are not limited to, school staff and daycare workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, law enforcement officers, etc.;
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.
Public health officials estimate it will take 70 to 80 percent of the population getting vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity and stop COVID-19.
Based on current vaccine supply levels, DHEC anticipates Phase 1c will begin on approximately April 12, 2021. The phase will include:
People aged 45 and up;
Essential workers – This group includes those who work in essential job categories as defined by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) who are not included in Phase 1b because they do not have frequent, close contact with others in the work environment (examples may include construction workers, delivery drivers, utility workers, etc. who do not have frequent, close and ongoing contact with others).