CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A link on the Medical University of South Carolina’s website that appeared to allow anyone to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine was erroneously shared to members of the public by their staff members, hospital officials said.
The link was then shared across social media and may have given some people false hope that they could receive the vaccine earlier.
MUSC officials said the link was legitimate but intended for their healthcare workers who still need to schedule an appointment to receive a vaccine. The site takes website users to a portal where they can select a time to come in and receive the shot.
“We have learned that some eligible individuals in the community forwarded MUSC scheduling information they received to others, such as patients, friends and family members, who are not yet eligible for the vaccine per CDC and SCDHEC guidelines,” spokesperson Heather Woolwine said in a release Thursday afternoon.
Moving forward, Woolwine said employees will need to verify their Phase 1A status and may need to present credentials or proof to verify they qualify to receive vaccination under Phase 1A.
Patients who will not attest to their status or who are not able to present credentials, which would include an employer badge, medical license, or a picture of that license will not be vaccinated and asked to return with proof at their earliest convenience, the release states.
Currently, the state is still in Phase 1A, the first phase of its vaccination plan. This phase includes healthcare workers, those in long-term care facilities and medical first responders.
CLICK HERE for a full list of who is in the first phase.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control expects the state to remain in that phase until at least Jan. 15. Those in the first phase are required to sign up before that time or risk losing their early spot in line.
The link was created so MUSC could make it easy for healthcare workers not affiliated with the hospital to get their shots. MUSC says it was sent with instructions to not be shared.
However, even if you manage to make an appointment, those getting the shot will have to prove they are a healthcare worker before they can get vaccinated.
DHEC says once 70 percent of those eligible in Phase 1A are inoculated, those in Phase 1B will be able to start signing up.
However, that timeline could speed up after Jan. 15 when DHEC says they will evaluate demand and move to 1B if demand is low. Those in 1B primarily consist of people over the age of 75 and frontline essential workers.
The best way to find out when and how you can get in line is to reach out to your employer or primary care physician.