DHEC says phase 1B coming soon

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FILE – In this Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021 file photo, a pharmacist prepares a syringe with Pfizer’s vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination site in New York. A real-world test of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in more than half a million people has confirmed it’s highly effective at preventing serious illness or death, even after one dose, according to a report released on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–South Carolina is still working to vaccinate those 65 and older, but other states seem much further along in the process.

South Carolina began receiving vaccinations for COVID-19 in December, yet the state remains in Phase 1A. Nick Davidson with DHEC says the state continues to receive limited amounts of the vaccine.

“We will continue to focus on those who are most at risk,” Davidson, the senior deputy for public health, said.

Meanwhile, in North Carolina and Georgia, the process is moving along much quicker. North Carolina began vaccinating Group 3 this week.

“Educators will be the first members of group three to be eligible to receive this vaccine as frontline essential workers,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

And Georgia announced it will be moving to the next phase on March 8th.

“K-12 educators and school staff. This includes both public and private schools,” Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said.

Davidson says there’s a large variety of where the process stands even just across the Southeast.

“It is a wide variety that is across the nation and every state is a little bit different,” he said.

For South Carolina, Davidson says the focus is simple.

“We’re not behind, we’re doing what South Carolina needs. And what that need is right now is that balance between, and it’s a delicate balance, between ensuring people can get what they need and want and also making it available to enough individuals,” Davidson said.

DHEC is considering the next steps, basing how they will move forward off of how many vaccine appointments are available.

“The biggest indicator is how quickly are clinics filling and to what extent are they filling,” he said.

Davidson says South Carolina should be moving toward the next steps soon.

“We’re finalizing 1B plans now and exactly what that will look like and we anticipate rolling that out in the very near future,” Davidson said.

You can stay up to date on the vaccine rollout here.

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