South Carolina – As cases in South Carolina continue to rise, Governor Henry McMaster announced that the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control will begin receiving the COVID-19 vaccine this month.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the first group (Phase 1-A) to receive the vaccine are those in healthcare settings at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19. That includes:
- Physicians’ assistants
- Nurses’ aides
- Physical therapists
- Respiratory therapists
- Speech pathologists
- Medical students and nursing students
- Nursing home and long-term care facility residents and staff
- Medical personnel in correctional facilities, jails, and detention centers
- Medical emergency first responders such as:
- Law enforcement personnel
- Home health and hospice workers
The governor noted that there would be an estimated allotment of 200,000 to 300,000 doses delivered to the state in the first delivery. According to the head of immunizations for DHEC, Dr. Stephen White, these are all considered first-round doses of the vaccine. White explained the vaccine being rolled out now requires two shots and the federal government will be sending “booster” shots for the hundreds of thousands of people who received one of the initial doses afterward.
However, McMaster cautioned that the distribution of the vaccine would not be done quickly.
“I want to caution everyone this will not be a fast process,” McMaster said. “I want to caution everyone this will be a slow process all over the country. Most South Carolinians will not be vaccinated for months. So, we’ve got to keep our guard up. Now’s not the time to let our guard down.”