COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) - Gov. Henry McMaster responded Sunday to calls from South Carolina teachers pushing for priority when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine.
“If we allow teachers to jump the line, we are taking vaccines from our most vulnerable population who are dying from this virus,” McMaster wrote in a Twitter post Sunday. “That is unethical, immoral, and absolutely unacceptable.”
The message included a video from a press conference the governor held on Feb. 4 with State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, in which McMaster argues for keeping the system in place as it is.
“All evidence says we’ve got to keep the system that we have now, that is growing, is getting stronger and is getting stronger as long we have more vaccine,” the governor said Thursday. “We’ve got to keep that moving without interruption. Now is not the time to throw a monkey wrench into this system that will put the people who are in danger in even more danger. It would be an unconscionable thing to do that at this time.”
Both McMaster and Spearman on Thursday also cited studies from the CDC and MUSC, which indicated little evidence that schools contribute to the spread of COVID-19.
McMaster’s statement Sunday as he continues to push for students across the state to return to full-time, face-to-face instruction.
The governor faced an outcry from teachers last week after it was announced South Carolina residents ages 65-69 would be moved into Phase 1a of the state’s vaccination plan, instead of being in Phase 1c as originally planned.
Teachers and other essential workers are currently included in Phase 1b.
In a follow-up tweet Sunday, McMaster said that the state has prioritized vaccinating teachers by placing them in Phase 1b and that officials are “working as quickly as we can to keep the line moving and transition to our next phase.”