South Carolina is expanding Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to individuals 65 and older regardless of health status or preexisting conditions, Gov. Henry McMaster and the state's Department of Health announced in a statement on Wednesday.
Senior vaccine seekers aged 65 and up can begin scheduling Covid-19 vaccine appointments on Feb. 8.
“We have a moral and ethical duty to first vaccinate the South Carolinians who are at the highest risk of dying from the virus,” McMaster said.
Officials says although state supply remains limited, the increased vaccine allocations from the federal government and a streamlined, statewide vaccination plan, has allowed for the expansion of the number of South Carolinians eligible to receive vaccine, according to the statement.
Many across the state have been pushing for teachers to get the vaccine but the governor emphasized the priority, based on supply, is getting older citizens vaccinated first, the statement said.
“At this time, placing a younger person between a senior citizen and what could be their lifesaving shot would be unconscionable and irresponsible. Today’s action will save lives and allow our teachers to be vaccinated next," McMaster said.
To date, South Carolina has received about 777,250 vaccines and has administered 439,888 shots.