South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced on Monday that South Carolina residents aged 70 and older will be able to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine appointment starting January 13, regardless of health status or pre-existing conditions.
“While COVID-19 vaccine is currently limited in South Carolina, like it is in all states, our providers continue to receive ongoing weekly shipments of vaccine from the federal government,” DHEC Interim Director of Public Health Dr. Brannon Traxler said. “When evaluating supply versus demand and as the rate of vaccines coming into the state increases compared to the rate of appointments being scheduled, we believe it is appropriate to begin scheduling appointments for additional South Carolinians. Based on current data, the mortality rate from COVID-19 for those 70 and older in South Carolina is approximately 655 deaths per 100,000 individuals. For those under the age of 70, there are approximately 37 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 individuals. This is a staggering comparison and illustrates why vaccinating this population next is critically important in our mission to save lives.”
More than 67% of COVID-19 deaths in South Carolina have been among those 70 and older. An estimated 627,800 South Carolinians are aged 70 or older.
“Because we’ve seen a dramatic acceleration in vaccine usage and appointments in the last week, we have decided to speed things up again,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “We know that those 70 and older are at the greatest risk of dying from COVID-19. Making sure they have expedited access to the vaccine will help save lives.”
Additional steps to expedite access to more South Carolinians will be made based on the use of the vaccine, the number of appointments made, and information on vaccine supply.
Individuals eligible to receive the vaccine can schedule an appointment using this online resource, which currently includes several major hospitals, seven DHEC sites, a DHEC mobile clinic, and 12 Doctor’s Cares locations along with an additional 50 locations being added to this list by the beginning of next week.
Individuals can also call the DHEC Care Line at 855-472-3432 for assistance with scheduling an appointment.