Vaccine Phase 1b — what does it mean?

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During a press conference earlier this week, Gov. Henry McMaster and DHEC officials announced that South Carolina will move into Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout on Mon., Mar. 8.

DHEC estimates that Phase 1b includes 2.7 million South Carolinians, which is over half of the state’s population

Who does the new phase include?

Phase 1b of the vaccine rollout includes:

  • Everyone 55+
  • Those aged 16-64 with a high-risk medical condition
    • Includes a current cancer diagnosis, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung disease, diabetes, Down syndrome, heart disease, HIV/AIDS, solid organ transplant, obesity, pregnancy + sickle cell disease.
  • Those with a developmental or other severe high-risk disability that makes developing severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 more likely
  • Frontline workers with an increased occupational risk
    • Must be in-person at their place of work + at increased risk of exposure due to frequent, close, and ongoing contact with others
    • Includes teachers, manufacturing workers, grocery store employees, law enforcement officers, etc.
  • Those at increased risk in settings where people live + work in close contact
    • Includes group home residents and workers, homeless shelter residents and workers, community training home residents and workers, correctional facility staff with inmate contact, etc.

That’s me — how do I make an appointment?

Appointments for the upcoming vaccine phase will open on Mon., Mar. 8. To find a vaccination site near you, check out this DHEC resource. Each site that’s accepting appointments will have a link to “contact the provider” and make an appointment. There are over 500 vaccine providers in the state.

If you’re having trouble scheduling an appointment or have questions related to the vaccine, contact DHEC’s Vaccine Information Line at 1 (866) 365-8110.

To show eligibility for Phase 1b, vaccine recipients can show an ID with their age or workplace listed or verify they have a qualifying high-risk medical condition.

Don’t forget — both Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require a second appointment to receive the second dose.

I’m not eligible for Phase 1b. When can I get vaccinated?

According to state officials, DHEC currently estimates that Phase 1c of the vaccine rollout will begin April 12. This phase will include everyone 45+ and essential workers who are not included in Phase 1b.

Officials also currently estimate that Phase 2, which includes all South Carolinians 16+, will begin May 3.