Vaccine rollout picks up speed, Phase 1b begins next week
South Carolina hit a historical milestone this week as more than one million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the state. As of today, a total of 1,003,558 Pfizer and Moderna doses have been given.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Control (DHEC) and Governor Henry McMaster announced earlier today that because of steady progress with the state’s phased vaccination plan, the state is prepared to advance to the next phase, Phase 1b, beginning March 8.
“Getting the COVID-19 vaccine into the arms of one million people in the matter of just a few months is a testament to our state’s commitment to ending the COVID-19 pandemic in South Carolina,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director. “We thank our local leaders, providers and community partners for your tireless work in helping us get the vaccine into our communities. During the coming days, weeks and months ahead, we hope to see even more South Carolinians getting vaccinated.”
South Carolinians Urged to Continue to Protect Themselves and Others
While thousands of South Carolinians continue to receive their COVID-19 vaccines each day, it will likely be summer before enough of the population is vaccinated and current public health precautions could be relaxed.
DHEC reminds all South Carolinians that until 70 to 80 percent of the population is vaccinated, everyone should take the same daily precautions that protect against the virus, even if you have been vaccinated. This means wearing your masks, staying six feet away from others, washing your hands often and getting tested regularly.
South Carolina’s Janssen Vaccine Allocation to Help Increase Access
Earlier this week, DHEC announced the arrival of the state’s first allocation of roughly 41,100 doses of the newly authorized Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) single-dose vaccine.
“We believe this new vaccine will help speed up vaccination efforts across the state because it’s a single-dose shot and also can be stored easily, at refrigerated temperatures, for several months,” said Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist. “When it’s your turn, I recommend you get any vaccine offered to you. Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen vaccines are all safe and effective at preventing severe illness and deaths.”
For the latest COVID-19 vaccine information, visit scdhec.gov/vaxfacts.