More than 52k health care workers in SC have received COVID-19 vaccines, close to 70k have scheduled appointments

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COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — Front-line health care workers in SC are being asked to schedule appointments to get their shots before Jan. 15th.

One day after the Governor set that deadline, state health officials can an update on the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in South Carolina. They said as of Wednesday 36% of the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccines they’ve received from the Federal Government have been administered.

They are still asking for patience. Interim Director of Public Health Dr Brannon Traxler said, “It is going to take some time.”

She said everyone in Phase 1-A of the state’s vaccination plan have to sign up for a vaccine by Jan. 15th.

If not, they would be put in the next category – Phase 1-B to get a vaccine.

Dr. Traxler said, “Our ultimate goal is to save south Carolinians lives. DHEC remains dedicated just as they have been this whole pandemic to working with our partners and ensure everyone in this situation who wants to get a vaccine will be able to get a vaccine.”

They said health care workers and their employers need to contact their local hospitals to get an appointment for a vaccine.

The South Carolina Hospital Association said some of their members have touched base with all eligible health care workers in their community. Chief Operating Officer Melanie Matney said, “They are ready to move on to phase 1-B. Some communities feel January 15th might be too late they can do it sooner than that.”

She said hospitals are working on different ways to help health care workers in their community schedule an appointment. They have set up email accounts to answer questions and help with the process.

DHEC has updated their website with contact information for hospitals.

Dr. Traxler said they are also working on finalizing plans on the best way to sign people up in Phase 1-B for the vaccine.

According to DHEC, about 1,000 health care workers in South Carolina have already received their second dose of the vaccine.

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