The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (LLR) recently issued a joint order expanding the number of medical professionals who may administer COVID-19 vaccine.
While the amount of COVID-19 vaccine is currently limited in South Carolina, as it is in all states, the purpose of the order is to ensure South Carolina has enough trained medical professionals for administering shots when vaccine supply into South Carolina becomes more widely available.
“While South Carolina is currently in Phase 1a of its vaccine plan which is targeted at protecting front-line medical workers, long-term care facility residents and staff, and those who are 70 older, this joint order proactively puts us in a position to have an increased number of people who can administer vaccine when the vaccine is more widely available to everyone,” said Marshall Taylor, DHEC Acting Director.
The joint order expanding the qualified persons who are now authorized to administer pre-measured doses of COVID-19 vaccine includes:
Personnel with current certifications by certain certifying boards
Students of an accredited medical school with appropriate instruction and documented training
Registered nurses and licensed practical nurses who have retired, become inactive, or whose licenses have lapsed within the last five years but were in good standing
“This Order goes a long way in helping hospitals and other providers prepare for administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. LLR, along with the Board of Medical Examiners and the Board of Nursing and other health professional licensing boards, are committed to doing everything we can to help South Carolinians gain access to a COVID-19 vaccine as quickly and safely as possible. We continue to stand ready to assist DHEC in its endeavor to do so,” LLR Director Emily Farr said.
These newly qualified persons will need to enroll in the federal program all providers must successfully complete in order to administer COVID-19 vaccine. There are currently 924 vaccine provider sites enrolled in the federal program for administering COVID-19 vaccine and 286 of those provider sites are currently activated and able to administer the vaccine. The number of activated sites will increase as vaccine becomes more widely available.