Health officials release plan to distribute COVID-19 vaccine in South Carolina

VIDEO: Health officials release plan to distribute COVID-19 vaccine in South Carolina

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Officials with the Department of Health and Environmental Control have released a plan to distribute COVID-19 vaccines in South Carolina.

State health officials said on Friday that the plan was submitted to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the overarching goal being the equitable distribution of the vaccine across the state, based on the most current federal guidance and recommendations.

During the initial stages of the national COVID-19 Vaccination Program, there will be a limited supply of the vaccine.

According to DHEC officials, that limited supply will be made available to certain identified groups, including front-line medical workers and nursing home residents. COVID-19 vaccine supply is expected to increase substantially and be more widely available to the public in 2021, state health officials said in a report.

The plan, which can be seen below, is broken down into three phases with the first being the initial, limited COVID-19 vaccine supply which would go to workers in healthcare settings, other essential workers, and people at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness including people 65 years of age or older.

In phase 2, as larger doses become available, the remainder of the affected population in phase 1 would receive the vaccine, as well as the start of distribution to the general public.

As a sufficient supply of vaccine doses becomes available for the entire population and a surplus becomes available, Phase 3 would be the continuation of vaccination for the remainder of people not vaccinated.

The vaccine plan stated by the end of October 2020 there should be about 3 million doses of the vaccine available nationwide, and by the end of November 2020 there should be 20 million to 30 million doses available nationwide. State health officials said they are expecting 35 million to 45 million doses available nationwide at the end of December 2020.

The full plan is detailed below.

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