South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced that any South Carolina resident aged 70 or older can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Pre-existing conditions no longer provides priority. Access is expanding. Hopefully, this will increase utilization rates. South Carolina has a 56 percent utilization rate.
State officials want to expand access because people in Phase 1a either received the shot or have appointments to do so. It’s estimated there are roughly 627,800 South Carolinians aged 70 or older in South Carolina. 94,926 Phase 1a individuals have appointments to receive their vaccine.
Based on current South Carolina data, the mortality rate for those 70 and older in is 655 deaths per 100,000 people. For those younger, data indicates 37 deaths per 100,000. More than 67 percent of COVID-19 deaths in South Carolina are those 70 and older.
Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Protection from COVID-19 is vitally important. Getting vaccinated can protect yourself from COVID-19. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed.
Other steps, like masks, handwashing, and social distancing, reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others.
For the latest COVID-19 vaccine information, visit scdhec.gov/vaxfacts. Vaccine can only be administered by appointment. You can’t walk into a health care facility and ask for vaccine
Schedule an appointment using this online resource. Individuals can also call the DHEC Care Line at 1-855-472-3432 for assistance with scheduling an appointment. Residents will be asked to provide a form of ID that confirms their eligibility to receive vaccine.