SC could get 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine by year’s end, DHEC says

’I’m a little reluctant’: Excitement about vaccine grows but concerns still linger

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - In the initial days of the vaccine rollout in South Carolina, the state received 42,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, the Department of Health and Environmental Control confirmed Wednesday.

In this first allocation, 15 public health facilities across the state were supplied. People who received the vaccine will need a booster shot in three weeks.

Shipments of vaccine will come in each week, DHEC says.

By the year’s end, DHEC says South Carolina should receive between 200,000 and 300,000 doses.

The state has just begun the Phase 1A part of DHEC’s vaccine plan, which focuses on preventing deaths.

Here’s who can receive the vaccine in this phase:

Phase 1A:

  • Persons performing direct medical care to suspected and/or confirmed COVID-19 patients: medical house staff (i.e., interns, residents, fellows), nurses, nurse’s aides, physical therapists (PT), physicians, physician assistants, respiratory therapists (RT), speech pathologists providing swallowing assessments during a patient’s infectious period, students (medical, nursing, PT, RT)
  • Ancillary staff directly interacting with suspected and/or confirmed COVID-19 patients: laboratory personnel handling potentially infectious specimens, phlebotomists, and radiology technicians
  • Emergency room staff in the above categories who provide direct patient care who are at high risk of exposure to undiagnosed, suspected and/or confirmed COVID-19 patients
  • Nursing home and long-term care facility residents and staff
  • Paid and volunteer medical first responders (EMS, fire department, and law enforcement personnel who provide emergency medical services) and hospital transport personnel in direct contact with suspected and/or confirmed COVID-19 patients
  • Persons providing direct medical care in correctional facilities
  • Persons providing direct medical care in dialysis and infusion centers
  • Workers in outpatient medical settings frequently treating persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection
  • Workers in settings where monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19 infusions are given
  • Home health and Hospice workers
  • Public health nurses/personnel visiting facilities w/possible COVID-19 cases
  • Autopsy room staff, coroners, embalmers, and funeral home staff at risk of exposure to bodily fluids

Gov. Henry McMaster provided the lists below of the rest of the phases and the people included in each. It’s important to note that these could change as the CDC and its advisory committee meet to recommend and vote on each phase.

Phase 1B:

  • Workers and individuals who provide services which have a high risk of exposure due to interactions with the public. Examples include: remaining first responders, including fire and law enforcement personnel that don’t have face-to-face contact during emergency situations with the public.
  • Workers in jobs that provide critical services i.e., utility workers, water, trash, transportation (including bus drivers and Department of Transportation workers), waste removal
  • Agribusiness and food production workers i.e., those working in processing plants, canning facilities and others involved in food production
  • Persons who live and work in congregate settings i.e., group homes, homeless shelters, correctional facilities, jails and detention centers
  • People who are 75 and older
  • Persons with two or more of the following health risks/conditions: Cancer not in remission, chronic kidney disease, COPD, diabetes, disability, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, obesity, pregnancy and sickle cell disease

Phase 2:

  • Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians
  • Grocery store, food service and food delivery workers
  • Service industry workers
  • Postal workers
  • Public transit workers
  • K-12 teachers and school staff
  • Childcare workers and staff
  • School bus drivers
  • Instructors and staff at higher education institutions
  • People age 65 and older
  • Persons with one of the following health risk conditions: cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, diabetes, disability, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, asthma, cerebral vascular disease, cystic fibrosis, hypertension, immunocompromised, liver disease and pulmonary fibrosis

Phase 3:

  • Vaccine available to the entire population

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