S.C. ‘days or weeks away’ from making COVID-19 vaccine available to those 65+, interim DHEC director says

FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2021 file photo, Dr. Yomaris Pena, Internal Medicine Physician with...
FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2021 file photo, Dr. Yomaris Pena, Internal Medicine Physician with Somos Community Care extracts the last bit of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine out of a vial so as not to waste it at a vaccination site at the Corsi Houses in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York.(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
Published: Feb. 2, 2021 at 2:23 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – The acting director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said Tuesday the state will soon be able to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to those aged 65 and older.

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Marshall Taylor, DHEC’s interim director, made the remarks during a special subcommittee meeting on a bill that will provide funding tied to the state’s response to the pandemic. He said when that age group could start scheduling their vaccine appointments is dependent on discussions with the governor’s office and looking at the number of doses available.

“But I don’t think we’re months away, I don’t think we’re weeks away. I think we’re days or weeks away,” Taylor said.

Last week, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster said he wants the state to be able to make the COVID-19 vaccine available to those aged 65 and over as soon as possible.

McMaster cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s plan to move the current eligibility to those 65 and older, and he’d like to be able to do the same.


Meanwhile, work continues on the bill to fund South Carolina’s response to the pandemic.

Tuesday’s meeting of members of a special Senate subcommittee was to discuss vaccine relief funding and distribution.

The committee heard input from health care leaders, including those from DHEC, MUSC and the S.C. Primary Healthcare Association.

One theme of the discussion was the importance of working with partners within the community to increase interest in vaccinations, especially among groups hesitant to be vaccinated.

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