CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said COVID-19 vaccines in the state will be limited at first with priority given to frontline medical personnel and residents at nursing homes.
State health officials said the distribution plan for the vaccines will follow the guidance and recommendations from the CDC, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other federal agencies.
Just last week, the Centers for Disease Control announced that all states should have plans to distribute a possible vaccine by the beginning of November. Although, there is no exact date when the vaccine will be available.
DHEC Immunization Director Stephen White said during a Thursday afternoon press conference that as vaccination production ramps up and additional vaccines complete the approval process, there will be sufficient doses available nationwide that the state will be able to open up vaccinations to the general public.
According to White, the COVID-19 vaccination process consists of individuals taking two doses of the vaccine.
“In order to provide protection against COVID-19 disease, timing between the first and the second dose is currently unknown, however assumptions are we could be looking at 21, to 28 days or even longer,” White said.
DHEC officials stressed that no vaccine will be released until it has undergone rigorous scientific and clinical testing.
“Our current COVID vaccination planning process and timeline will continue to evolve as more information becomes available to us from the federal government,” White said.