COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Health officials in South Carolina say they submitted the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plan to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday.
According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the overarching goal of the vaccination plan is the equitable distribution of the vaccine across the state, based on the most current federal guidance and recommendations.
“Safety is the top priority in any vaccine development and no vaccine will be released until it has undergone the rigorous scientific and clinical testing that’s required as part of all vaccine development,” said Dr. Linda Bell, South Carolina State Epidemiologist.
Dr. Bell went on to say, “Scientists had already begun research for coronavirus vaccines during previous outbreaks caused by related coronaviruses, and that earlier research provided a head start for rapid development of vaccines to protect against infection with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19.”
DHEC, along with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, South Carolina Hospital Association, National Guard, South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division, and other public and private sector partners worked closely to develop the plan.
During the initial stages of the national COVID-19 Vaccination Program, DHEC says there will be a limited supply of the vaccine. That limited supply will be made available to certain identified groups, including front-line medical workers and nursing home residents. COVID-19 vaccine supply is expected to increase substantially and be more widely available to the public in 2021.
You can view the state’s plan by visiting: scdhec.gov/covid19vaccine.