COVID-19 vaccine age eligibility lowers to 65+ in SC


A nurse holds a bottle of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at the Nurse Isabel Zendal Hospital in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Beginning Monday, any South Carolinian ages 65 and older can receive the COVID-19 vaccine regardless of health status or pre-existing conditions.

Gov. Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) say they are able to lower the eligibility age because of increased vaccine allocation from the federal government.

Nearly 82% of COVID-19 deaths in South Carolina have been among those 65 and older. The average age for COVID-19 related deaths in the state is 75.

There are approximately 309,000 South Carolinians between the ages of 65 and 69.

To date, South Carolina has received more than 777,000 vaccines and has given almost 440,000 shots.

SCDHEC recognizes that the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults at the highest risk.

South Carolinians eligible to receive the vaccine can find a provider near them at or by calling 1-866-365-8110.

Residents will be asked to provide their driver’s license or another form of I.D. at their appointment to prove their age.

Governor Henry McMaster says getting the vaccine to those in phase 1B, like teachers, will depend on vaccine supply.

“As we open up more and more groups – without opening up supply – it does offer the benefit of getting more individuals a foot in the door, but it does not create more appointments or more vaccines.”

Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist, DHEC

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