S.C. teachers, essential workers could get vaccine next month
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina’s top health official says that teachers, grocery store employees, and other frontline essential workers could be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine in two to three weeks.
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Director Dr. Edward Simmer told lawmakers Tuesday that some seniors are still struggling to get appointments.
Simmer said he supports vaccinating more seniors to save lives before making others eligible for the vaccine.
State lawmakers with the health care subcommittee met Tuesday to discuss the teacher vaccine bill. It’s a law that would prioritize teachers and faculty to get their immunization against COVID-19.
The state education superintendent spoke and said she wants teachers to get top priority, but DHEC says teachers could be just weeks away from vaccines anyway.
Superintendent Molly Spearman said it would make parents feel safer about sending their children to school if teachers had their vaccine.
Lawmakers reassured Spearman they want teachers to be vaccinated, but not before our vulnerable senior citizen population.
The DHEC director also addressed lawmakers and said Phase 1B will be here in just a couple of weeks and teachers can get vaccinated then.
Simmer says, “We will be in phase 1B in just a few weeks by early March and teachers will be immunized then.”
The committee ended the meeting without voting, saying they were going to wait it out.
Spearman said Phase 1B isn’t just teachers, but also other workers so this still doesn’t fix the problem and prioritize teachers.
From reports by WIS and The Associated Press