LIST: COVID-19 vaccine distribution phases, who receives vaccine in each phase

COLUMBIA, S.C (WMBF) – The Department of Health and Environmental Control provided new information Thursday on the COVID-19 vaccine distribution phases and who falls under each phase.

One major change was the addition of Phase 1-C that is under consideration by the South Carolina Vaccine Advisory Committee.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) provided guidance on who falls under Phase 1-B and Phase 1-C a couple of weeks ago. The state’s advisory committee is now looking over that guidance and deciding what is best for South Carolinians.

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Committee members are expected to finalize the recommendations in the next week. As for now, those listed under Phase 1-B and Phase 1-C in the list below are subject to change until the Vaccine Advisory Committee finalizes it.

DHEC provided a detailed list in its guidance for COVID-19 vaccine allocation for Phase 1-A and the people who are included in it. At this point, Phase 1-A is the only finalized list:

Phase 1-A (Currently Ongoing-February 2021):

  • Healthcare workers: Initial focus on frontline healthcare workers at high risk of exposure and mission-critical to the overarching goal of preventing death
  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
  • Admitted hospital patients, who are aged 65 years and older, as long as they do not currently have COVID-19 and a provider feels it is indicated for them
  • Anyone 70 years and older, regardless of health status or preexisting conditions
  • State/local government employees and their contractors who are mission-critical for maintaining operations of COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in SC
  • Parents who are home caregivers of a child who is medically fragile or complex or severely disabled. (Requires a medical provider’s signed attestation to confirm parent meets criteria.)

Healthcare workers include:

  • 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
  • Chiropractors
  • Dentists and dental hygienists and technicians
  • Dietary and food services staff in healthcare facilities
  • Environmental services staff in healthcare facilities
  • Harbor pilots
  • Home health and hospice workers
  • Hospital transport personnel
  • Laboratory personnel and phlebotomists
  • Licensed dietitians
  • 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
  • Podiatrists
  • 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
  • Students and interns of the above categories

Below is guidance made by the ACIP, and these have not been finalized by the South Carolina Vaccine Advisory Committee.

Phase 1-B (Early Spring 2021):

  • Frontline essential workers -- sectors included by ACIP are:
    • Firefighters
    • Law enforcement officers
    • Corrections officers
    • Food and agricultural workers
    • United States Postal Service workers
    • Manufacturing workers
    • Grocery store workers
    • Public transit workers
    • Those who work in the educational sector—teachers, support staff, and daycare workers

Phase 1-C (Late Spring 2021):

  • Essential workers not included in Phase 1-B -- examples included by the ACIP are:
    • People who work in transportation and logistics
    • Food service
    • Housing construction and finance
    • Information technology
    • Communications
    • Energy
    • Law
    • Media
    • Public safety
    • Public health staff who are non-frontline healthcare workers
  • All people aged 65 and older
  • People aged 16 and older with certain underlying health conditions that puts them at high risk for severe disease (list by CDC)

Phase 2 (Summer-Fall 2021)

  • All people who wish to be vaccinated
    • Ages per recommendations by ACIP

Phase 2 vaccinations are anticipated to begin in late Spring 2021, with the vaccines expected to become available for the general public during the summer and fall of 2021.

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