South Carolina opening vaccinations to residents age 16 and older

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 10:13 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Gov. Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced Friday that all South Carolinians aged 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 31.

They’ll be able to start scheduling their appointments Wednesday.

Online appointments can be made by using or you can call DHEC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line at 866-365-8110 for help.

“Our priority with the vaccine has been to save the lives of those at the greatest risk of dying. By staying the course and resisting distractions, we’ve expanded South Carolinians’ access and eligibility for vaccinations faster than originally anticipated,” McMaster said. “Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our state’s health care professionals, we are now able to make the vaccine available to anyone who wants it, and to do so ahead of schedule.”

The announcement comes a day after vaccinations opened to Georgians age 16 and older.

On March 8, South Carolina moved into Phase 1B of the vaccination plan, which allowed those 55 and older, everyone with increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease, and all frontline workers with increased occupational risk to receive the vaccine.

Since then, DHEC and other vaccine providers have administered an average of 23,323 doses per day, totaling 419,816 administered doses since March 8.

“We started by making vaccine available to those who were most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19; the elderly, those with high risk of exposure at work, and those with medical conditions that worsen the effects of COVID-19,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC director. “Today, about a year after the COVID-19 crisis began, we are now able to offer three very safe and effective vaccines to all South Carolina residents over the age of 16 – another step on our path to take control of COVID-19 instead of it controlling us and getting back to normal. "

In all, DHEC and other vaccine providers have administered a total of 1,818,939 doses of vaccine to South Carolina residents, with 1,163,103 South Carolinians having received at least one dose and 617,787 South Carolinians having completed vaccination. As of today, approximately 15% of South Carolina’s population has been fully vaccinated.

Currently, Pfizer is the only vaccine available to those ages 16-18. All three vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson — are available to those age 18 and older.

From left, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and state public health chief Dr. Edward Simmer...
From left, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and state public health chief Dr. Edward Simmer answer questions during a past news conference.(WRDW)

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