SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) held another virtual meeting on Monday to discuss COVID-19 and to give an update on the state’s efforts to roll out the vaccine.
“Each day, more and more vaccines are being administered into the arms of South Carolinians,” SCDHEC’s Interim Director of Public Health Dr. Brannon Traxler said.
So far, DHEC said, more than 82,000 doses of the COVID vaccine have been administered to people who are part of Phase 1-A of the distribution process here in South Carolina; and, soon, they said, a new group of people will be included.
“The vaccines are here and they are a light at the end of the tunnel,” Dr. Traxler said.
DHEC announced on Monday that any South Carolinian who is 70 years old or older can start scheduling appointments to get their vaccine, starting this Wednesday, January 13th.
“Regardless of their health status or any pre-existing conditions,” Traxler said.
State health officials said it’s a critical next step in their mission to help save lives.
“This is very important because those who are 70 and older have been the most devastated by the disease in our state,” she said.
According to DHEC, they’ve seen the highest mortality rate in that age range by far.
“67% or two-thirds of COVID-19 deaths in South Carolina have been among persons age 70 years or older,” Dr. Traxler said.
Health officials want to remind everyone that, if you make an appointment to get vaccinated, you must get both doses of the vaccine for it to work.
“Individuals will receive a vaccine card after receiving their first shot that reminds them when that second shot is due. Many providers are also issuing second-dose reminders by way of phone calls, text messages, or emails,” Traxler said.
And health officials also want to remind those included in the Phase 1-A distribution group to go ahead and schedule your appointments before they begin offering appointments to this new group on Wednesday.
“We are continuing to work to have more and more locations offering the vaccine–especially in those rural and under-served communities that may not have a hospital nearby,” Traxler said.
If you are 70 years old or older and want to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated, health officials say you will need to bring a driver’s license or another form of ID to your appointment that confirms your age. Click here to schedule an appointment.
You can also call the DHEC Care Line for more information at 1-855-472-3432.