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COVID-19 Vaccine | SCDHEC



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COVID-19 Vaccine flow in SC 01.13.2021

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Frequently Asked Questions Vaccine Plan Phase 1

a Guidance Phase 1a Assignments

Phase 1b Phase 1c Phase 2 Vaccine Updates

What phase am I in?

Our highest priority is to save lives. Everyone wants a chance to get the vaccine. However, the number of doses is currently limited in South Carolina as in all states. We ask everyone to be patient, learn what phase you are in and follow the guidance of our public health officials. This will enable public health officials to ensure that those most at risk and those who keep us alive are vaccinated first.

To support this effort, vaccine distribution is taking place in a step-by-step approach. The following overview provides an overview of the expected categories and time for each phase. This can change at any time for many reasons, such as a change in federal guidance or in the VAC’s recommendations to South Carolina.

Phase 1a and 70+ (currently ongoing)

As of Wednesday, January 13, any resident of South Carolina, age 70 or older, regardless of health status or existing conditions, may begin planning their appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. A map of current locations accepting vaccine appointments will be available at scdhec.gov/vaxlocator from Wednesday, January 13th.

Employers are encouraged to reach out to their local hospitals as soon as possible and no later than January 15, 2021 with a list of names and contact information for employees who wish to be vaccinated. In addition, Phase 1a individuals wishing to be vaccinated must contact their local hospitals to request and schedule an appointment by January 15, 2021.

Persons making agreements may need to provide identification to confirm their eligibility for Phase 1a vaccination. This includes providing some proof (eg badge, card, license, personal letter from employer, photo of license) of Phase 1a qualification when presenting for the vaccination.

Phase 1a includes:

  • Health workers
    • Initial focus on frontline healthcare professionals at high risk of exposure and mission-critical towards the overall goal of preventing death
    • Healthcare professionals and medical professionals can use SCHA’s list of hospital contact information to schedule their vaccines.
  • Residents and staff on long-term care facilities
  • Inpatients who are 65 years of age or older as long as they do not currently have COVID-19 and a provider feels it is indicated for them
  • Everyone who is 70 years and older, regardless of health condition or pre-existing conditions
  • Government / municipal employees and their contractors who are mission-critical to maintain the operation of COVID-19 vaccinations and tests in SC

Health workers include:

  • Anesthesiology assistants, registered cardiovascular invasive specialists and staff in the operating room
  • Athletic trainers
  • American Sign Language (ASL) and other interpreters in health facilities
  • Autopsy room staff, coroners, embalmers and funeral staff at risk of exposure to body fluids
  • Chiropractors
  • Dentists and dental hygienists and technicians
  • Diet and food service staff in health facilities
  • Environmental service personnel in health facilities
  • Port pilots
  • Home health and hospice workers
  • Hospital staff
  • Laboratory staff and phlebotomists
  • Licensed dietitians
  • Medical assistants
  • The former respondents (paid and voluntary): EMS; fire brigade and law enforcement personnel providing emergency medical care
  • Nurses, Nursing Practitioners and Nursing Assistants / Assistants
  • Opticians and optometrists and assistants / technicians
  • Persons providing medical care in penal care and penal care
  • Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians
  • Physical and occupational therapists and assistants
  • Physicians, including medical staff (ie trainees, residents, fellows) and medical assistants
  • Podiatrists
  • Healthcare professionals who frequently interact with people with potential COVID-19 infection
  • Radiology technicians
  • Respiratory therapists, such as respiratory therapists
  • Speech language pathologists and assistants and audiologists
  • Students and interns in the above categories

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Phase 1b (late winter 2021)

* All time estimates are subject to change due to vaccine availability, demand and supplier participation.

Phase 1b includes:

  • Frontline important workers
    • Sectors included by ACIP: firefighters, law enforcement, correctional officers, food and agricultural workers, USPS workers, manufacturing workers, grocery workers, public transport workers and those working in the education sector – teachers, support staff and day care workers

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Phase 1c (early spring 2021)

* All time estimates are subject to change due to vaccine availability, demand and supplier participation.

Phase 1c includes:

  • All people aged 65 and older
  • People aged 16 and older with certain underlying health conditions putting them at high risk for serious illness (list by CDC)
  • Other things important workers
    • Examples included in ACIP: people working in transport and logistics, food service, housing and finance, information technology, communications, energy, legislation, media, public security and public health staff who are not frontline health workers

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Phase 2 (late spring-autumn 2021)

* All time estimates are subject to change due to vaccine availability, demand and supplier participation.

Phase 2 includes:

  • ALL people who want to be vaccinated
    • Age per Recommendation from ACIP

Phase 2 vaccinations are expected to start in late spring 2021, with the vaccines expected to be available to the public during the summer and fall of 2021.

What should I do now?

Everyone wants a chance to get the vaccine. We urge all South Carolines to continue to stand together to fight this disease by taking small steps that make a big difference:

  • Use your mask
  • Being tested and staying home when you are sick
  • Avoid large gatherings
  • Practice physical distance

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Vaccine updates

Dr. Bell receives his COVID-19 vaccination – Interview

Previous vaccine updates

Contact us

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