COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – Teachers in South Carolina could be one step closer to getting their vaccines.
The South Carolina Senate unanimously passed a bill Tuesday night that moves teachers, school staff and daycare workers to Phase 1a of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
The measure also states that the Department of Health and Environmental Control would need to offer teachers and school staff a vaccine 30 days after it’s signed by the governor.
But there is an added stipulation in the bill. Teachers would need to go back to teaching full-time, face-to-face for the rest of the school year.
Gov. Henry McMaster has stated that he does not support teachers going to the front of the vaccine line.
Moments after the Senate passed the bill he tweeted, “Seniors are getting vaccinated in greater numbers each day. Breaking faith by slowing down, disrupting, cancelling, or delaying any senior’s vaccination shot is a bad idea with deadly consequences. I cannot – and will not – allow their lives to be jeopardized.
The legislation now heads the South Carolina House.
All of the state’s school districts are working with vaccine providers to come up with a plan to get teachers vaccinated once they are eligible to receive the vaccine. A spokesperson for the South Carolina Department of Education said every public school district is either in the preliminary planning stage or has a fully actionable vaccination plan ready to go.
Horry County Schools Superintendent Dr. Rick Maxey said the district is planning to have its teacher vaccination plan formalized next week. He added that HCS has been in talks with medical partners since last month.