COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Governor Henry McMaster on Wednesday announced people age 65 and older can schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments beginning next Monday.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says these individuals can begin scheduling their appointments beginning on February 8th regardless of health status or preexisting conditions.
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.
According to DHEC, because of 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, they say the supply of the COVID-19 vaccine remains limited for the time being.
“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.”
Gov. McMaster’s office said 81.7 percent of COVID-19 deaths in South Carolina have been among those 65 and older.
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.
Those interested in making an appointment can visit scdhec.gov/vaxlocator or 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.