SC Gov. McMasters Announces New Covid Vaccine Rules

Ava Roxanne Stritt @SpaTravelGal

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All adults 16 and older in South Carolina will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 31st, according to Governor Henry McMaster. Henry Dargan McMaster is an American politician, attorney and member of the Republican Party who has been the 117th governor of South Carolina since January 24, 2017.

Individuals can begin scheduling their appointments as of next Wednesday.

Gov. McMaster Viewpoint

“Our priority with the vaccine has been to save the lives of those at the greatest risk of dying. By staying the course and resisting distractions, we’ve expanded South Carolinians’ access and eligibility for vaccinations faster than originally anticipated,” said Gov. McMaster. “Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our state’s health care professionals, we are now able to make the vaccine available to anyone who wants it, and to do so ahead of schedule.”

Earlier this week you could spot SC Governor Henry McMasters with the hospitality industry at a vaccine clinic dedicated specially for those on the front line of the hospitality industry in Columbia, SC. Bobby Williams, the South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association's Board Chair, says Tuesday is a great day. "Over the last year, the restaurant industry has really of all businesses in the state, has really had it tougher than I think anybody else," said Williams. "Our employees for a long time, dining rooms were closed, the wait staff wasn't able to make money, then we had to work with masks and we're still working with masks and it's extremely tough.

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SC Covid-19 Vaccine Phases

The state moved into Phase 1B of its vaccination plan on March 8th, which allowed those 55 and older, everyone with increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease, and all frontline workers with increased occupational risk to receive the vaccine including educators and those in the teaching profession. Since then, DHEC and other vaccine providers have administered an average of 23,323 doses per day, totaling 419,816 administered doses.

We started by making vaccine available to those who were most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19; the elderly, those with high risk of exposure at work, and those with medical conditions that worsen the effects of COVID-19,” said DHEC director, Dr. Edward Simmer. “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 over the age of 16 – another step on our path to take control of COVID-19 instead of it controlling us and getting back to normal.”

Covid-19 Vaccine Data

Pfizer is the only vaccine available to those aged 16-18 right now. All three vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen – are available to those aged 18 and older.

DHEC and other vaccine providers have administered a total of 1,818,939 doses of vaccine to South Carolina residents, with 1,163,103 South Carolinians having received at least one dose and 617,787 South Carolinians having completed vaccination.

Leaders say approximately 15% of South Carolina’s population has been fully vaccinated as of March 26th.

Sign Up for Covid-19 Vaccine

To find a Covid-19 Vaccine near you in South Carolina visit this website, where DHEC will show you locations avaible locations to receive a covid-19 vacccine.

Call DHEC's Vaccine Information Line at 1-866-365-8110 for answers to vaccine related questions and help finding contact information you need to make an appointment. The Vaccine Information Line is currently operating 7 a.m.-7 p.m., seven days a week.

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Covid-19 Vaccine Phases Explained

Beginning March 8, appointments to get the COVID-19 vaccine can be made by people in Phase 1b.

School and childcare staff are eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations

As of March 2, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has directed that those who work in pre-primary, primary, and secondary schools, as well as Head Start and Early Head Start programs (including teachers, staff, and bus drivers) and those who work as or for licensed child care providers, including center-based and family care providers, are eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. On March 4, 2021, DHEC sent a letter outlining this important update to the state's COVID-19 vaccine providers.

Beginning March 8, appointments to get the COVID-19 vaccine can be made by people in Phase 1b.

Current Phase 1b includes:

  • Anyone aged 55 and up
  • People with increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
    People aged 16-54 with one or more of the following high-risk medical conditions:Cancer (current, not a history of cancer), chronic kidney disease (any stage), chronic lung disease, diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2), Down syndrome, heart disease (congestive heart disease, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, pulmonary hypertension), HIV/AIDS, solid organ transplant, obesity (BMI >30), pregnancy, sickle cell disease.
    People who have a developmental or other severe high-risk disability that makes developing severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 infection more likely
  • Frontline workers with increased occupational risk
    Frontline workers with increased occupational risk are people who:Must be in-person at their place of work, and

    Perform a job that puts them at increased risk of exposure due to their frequent, close (less than6 feet) and ongoing (more than 15 minutes) contact with others in the work environment. A person's eligibility for a COVID-19 vaccine isn't based on a specific job or work sector. If a person decides that they meet job risk using the criteria above, they are eligible.
    Some examples of people who may be frontline workers based on risk may include
    school staff and daycare workers, criminal justice staff, government employees, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, and law enforcement officers.
  • Individuals at increased risk in settings where people are living and working in close contactResidents and workers in group home settings for the mentally or physically disabled or those with behavioral or substance abuse conditions
    Workers and residents in homeless shelters
    Workers and residents in community training homes
    State and local correctional facility staff with direct inmate contact
    Correctional and immigration detention facility inmates
    Migrant farmworkers living in shared housing or reliant on shared transportation
  • All workers in healthcare and community health settings who have routine, direct patient contact and were not vaccinated in Phase 1a

With the breaking news that all adults 16 and older in South Carolina will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 31st, Phase 1c has become a mute point.

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Spa Travel Gal exploring Spas, Wellness, Hotels & Unique Experiences - Spa Expert & Top Blogger - Freelance Writer-SATW Member. My name is Ava Roxanne Stritt also known as @SpaTravelGal! My followers say I am responsible for transforming the average spa day into a wellness adventure! Follow me here and on Instagram @SpaTravelGal

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