VACCINE Q&A: Who is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine right now?
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As of Feb. 5, the state remained in the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Phase 1A vaccine distribution.
Phase 1A puts frontline healthcare workers and residents and staff members of long-term care facilities as priorities. Since Phase 1A began, Gov. Henry McMaster and DHEC widened availability to include people 65 years of age or older; people who are 65 and older who are hospitalized; and COVID-19 vaccine and testing mission-critical state and local government employees.
Here is the latest list of all Phase 1A people, according to DHEC’s website:
- 65+ year-olds, regardless of health status or preexisting conditions
- Anesthesiology assistants, registered cardiovascular invasive specialists, and operating room staff
- Athletic Trainers
- American Sign Language (ASL) and other interpreters in healthcare facilities
- Autopsy room staff, coroners, embalmers, and funeral home staff at risk of exposure to bodily fluids
- Dentists and dental hygienists and technicians
- Dietary and food services staff in healthcare facilities
- Environmental services staff in healthcare facilities
- Harbor pilots
- Home caregivers for children who have a tracheostomy, are ventilator-dependent or who have a Medically Complex Children’s Waiver. The Medically Complex Children’s Waiver (MCC) is a statewide program to serve children who meet either Nursing Facility or Intermediate Care Facility-Intellectually Disabled level of care and medical criteria. Requires a medical provider’s signed attestation to confirm caregiver meets criteria.
- Home health and hospice workers
- Hospital transport personnel
- Hospital inpatients 65 and older
- Laboratory personnel and phlebotomists
- Licensed dietitians
- Long-Term Care Facility (LTCF) residents and staff
- Medical assistants
- Medical first responders (paid and volunteer): EMS; fire department and law enforcement personnel who provide emergency medical care
- Nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse’s aides/ assistants
- Opticians and optometrists and assistants/ technicians
- Persons providing medical care in correctional facilities and correctional officers
- Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians
- Physical and occupational therapists and assistants
- Physicians, including medical house staff (i.e., interns, residents, fellows), and physician assistants
- Public health healthcare workers who are frequently interacting with persons with potential COVID-19 infection
- Radiology technicians
- Respiratory care practitioners, such as respiratory therapists
- Speech language pathologists and assistants and audiologists
- State/local government employees and their contractors who are mission-critical for maintaining operations of COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in SC
- Students and interns of the above categories
DHEC estimates there are approximately 987,000 people in this group, though it is unclear how many of them will decide not to get the vaccine.
The next group in the vaccine rollout, Phase 1B, is set to open in early spring, according to DHEC’s website.
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