COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS/WMBF) – South Carolina health officials have more information about when residents can receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control provided an update on the phases in the distribution plan, which now includes a Phase 1C.
Officials also gave a timeline on when the state will move to each phase.
Those currently getting the vaccine are health care personnel and residents and staff at long-term care facilities. That group of people, designated as Phase 1A recipients, is expected to continue to get the vaccines through February of 2021.
At that point, people aged 75 years and older, as well as frontline essential workers, are expected to get the vaccine. DHEC says this will likely be in late winter or early spring, and will only begin once 70% of Phase 1A recipients are vaccinated.
Health officials estimated that the rest of the population will receive the vaccination in the spring and summer of 2021.
“Everyone in our state who wants to be vaccinated will get their turn,” Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC’s Interim Public Health Director, said Thursday afternoon.
Here are the current guidelines DHEC has developed for the next phases of vaccine administration:
- Persons aged 75 years and older (with or without underlying health conditions)
- Frontline essential workers:
- Law enforcement officers
- Corrections officers
- Food and agricultural workers
- United States Postal Service workers
- Manufacturing workers
- Grocery store workers
- Public transit workers
- Educational sector employees—teachers, support staff, and day care workers
- Essential workers not included in Phase 1b (such as people who work in transportation and logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety, and public health staff who are non-frontline health care workers)
- Persons aged 65 to 74 years (with or without underlying health conditions)
- Persons aged 16 to 64 years with underlying health conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19 (more information to follow from the SC COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee)
As the vaccine supply increases, the CDC will provide guidance for Phases 2 and 3, which will include more of the population.
State health officials held an online meeting on the vaccine update which can be watched below.
DHEC’s Interim Public Health Director Dr. Brannon Traxler reiterated on Thursday that everyone who wants to get a vaccine will get one, but it will be a process.
She added that DHEC will continue to provide information on its website and through the media and social media to make sure people are aware when the state transitions to the next phase and exactly who falls in each phase.