Governor Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) recently announced that beginning Monday, February 8, any South Carolina resident aged 65 or older, regardless of health status or preexisting conditions, can begin scheduling their appointment to receive COVID-19 vaccine. DHEC’s online tool at scdhec.gov/vaxlocator shows locations currently accepting appointments for COVID-19 vaccine and provides contact information for scheduling appointments at those locations.
With increased vaccine allocations from the federal government and a streamlined, statewide vaccination plan, it is now appropriate to expand the number of South Carolinians eligible to receive vaccine. However, supply of the vaccine remains limited for the time being.
Additional steps to expedite access to additional South Carolinians – including teachers and others in Phase 1b – will be made based on the use of the vaccine, the number of appointments made, and other information on vaccine supply.
“We have a moral and ethical duty to first vaccinate the South Carolinians who are at the highest risk of dying from the virus,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “At this time, placing a younger person between a senior citizen and what could be their lifesaving shot would be unconscionable and irresponsible. Today’s action will save lives and allow our teachers to be vaccinated next.”
“As we evaluate supply versus demand and as the rate of vaccines coming into the state increases, we believe it is appropriate to begin scheduling appointments for additional South Carolinians,” said DHEC Acting Director Marshall Taylor. “While every South Carolinian will have a chance to get the vaccine, it’s important to understand the availability of vaccine is limited in South Carolina, like in all states. To best protect the safety and health of all South Carolinians we must make sure those at highest risk of severe illness and death get vaccinated first.”
81.7 percent of COVID-19 deaths in South Carolina have been among those 65 and older. The average age for COVID-19 related deaths in South Carolina is 75. There are approximately 309,000 South Carolinians between the ages of 65 and 69. To date, South Carolina has received 777,250 vaccine and has given 439,888 shots. In addition, 382,695 South Carolinians have scheduled vaccine appointments.
In South Carolina there are currently 458 activated COVID-19 vaccine sites, many of which are currently accepting appointments, with the others set to begin accepting appointments soon.
What to know:
Beginning Monday, February 8, any South Carolina resident who is at least 65 years old can schedule their appointment to receive COVID-19 vaccine.
The risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at the highest risk.
Residents will be asked to provide a driver’s license or other form of ID at their appointment that confirms their age and, therefore, their eligibility to receive vaccine.
South Carolinians eligible to receive vaccine can schedule an appointment at a location accepting COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The scdhec.gov/vaxlocator can be used to find those locations and get contact information for scheduling appointments at those locations. People can also call DHEC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line at 1-866-365-8110 for help finding vaccine providers and their contact information to schedule an appointment.
COVID-19 is still at high levels in South Carolina. Wear a face mask, stay six feet away from others, avoid crowds, and get tested often.