FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 26, 2021
COLUMBIA, SC – Governor Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced today that all South Carolinians age 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning on March 31, 2021 and they can start scheduling their appointments starting next Wednesday.
“Our priority with the vaccine has been to save the lives of those most at risk of dying. By staying the course and resisting the distractions, we have expanded South Carolinians’ access and eligibility for vaccines faster than originally intended. “ Governor Henry McMaster said. “Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our state’s healthcare professionals, we can now make the vaccine available to anyone who wants it, and do it ahead of schedule.”
“We started by making the vaccine available to those who were most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19; the elderly, those at high risk of exposure at work and those with medical conditions that worsen the effects of COVID-19 ”. said Dr. Edward Simmer, Director of DHEC. “Today, about a year after the COVID-19 crisis began, we are now able to offer three very safe and effective vaccines to all South Carolina residents – another step on our journey to take control of COVID-19 instead. of controlling us and returning to normal. ”
On March 8, South Carolina moved to Phase 1b of the vaccination plan, which allowed people 55 and older, all those at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness, and all front-line workers with higher occupational risk received the vaccine. Since then, DHEC and other vaccine providers have administered an average of 23,323 doses per day, totaling 419,816 doses administered since March 8.
“Thanks to the outstanding work of many people, including volunteers, community groups, vaccine providers, and especially the people of South Carolina, we have administered more than 1.8 million doses of vaccine to more than 1.1 million South Carolinians in a short time. more than three months ”. Simmer said.
In total, DHEC and other vaccine providers have administered a total of 1,818,939 doses of vaccine to South Carolina residents; 1,163,103 South Carolinians have received at least one dose and 617,787 South Carolinians have completed vaccination. As of today, approximately 15% of the South Carolina population has been fully vaccinated.
Currently, Pfizer is the only vaccine available for people ages 16 to 18. All three vaccines, Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen, are available to people 18 years of age and older.
According to CDC guidelines, here is what you can do once you have been fully vaccinated.
“Spring, and especially Easter, is a time of hope, and with COVID-19 vaccines available to all South Carolinians, we can all hope for a better tomorrow.” Simmer said. “I encourage all South Carolinians who have not been vaccinated to get vaccinated as soon as possible and to continue to wear their masks and to socially distance themselves, to make sure we save as many lives as we can.”
How to make an appointment?
Online appointments can be made using scdhec.gov/vaxlocator or you can call the DHEC COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line at 1-866-365-8110 for help.