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Almost 40,000 South Carolinians vaccinated, DHEC says

South Carolina has received over 200,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine and remains in 'Phase 1A'.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — As of Thursday morning, South Carolina has received over 200,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine and nearly 40,000 people have gotten the shot, according to DHEC.

Coronavirus cases continue to climb in South Carolina, but Dr. Brannon Traxler said the state’s vaccination plan is moving along.

RELATED: 3,234 new confirmed cases of SC COVID-19 reported, 39 deaths, percent positive remains above 30%

"The hospitals continue to make progress with administering the vaccines to Phase 1A employees everyday and we expect that number to continue to increase," said Traxler.

She added that the state will most likely remain in Phase 1A , which allows medical workers, emergency personnel and long-term care facilities to get vaccines, through February.

"In late winter to early spring, the state will move on to Phase 1B, once 70 percent of South Carolinians identified in Phase 1A have been vaccinated," said Traxler.

RELATED: 'Be patient': DHEC says vaccine rollout takes time

Phase 1B allows people 75 and older and frontline essential workers like teachers to get vaccinated, according to DHEC. 

Phase Two is anticipated to begin in the spring. Vaccines are expected to be available to the general public by summer said Traxler.

When vaccines become widely available, Dr. Traxler said there will be hundreds of providers across the state and DHEC will set up clinics in rural, underserved areas.

"When people are eligible, they will be getting a registration link from the vaccine administration management system (VAMS)," she said. "Those invitations will come from different clinic sites, but people will know to sign up via information we put on our website and via the media."

After DHEC’s most recent update on the vaccines, Governor Henry McMaster put out a statement asking the agency to make vaccine numbers public. 

In his letter, the governor wrote he wants the location and status of every dose to be tracked on DHEC’s COVID-19 Dashboard. He said doing this will maintain the public’s confidence and participation in their plan.

"We’ve been having discussions on how we can get some information on the website," said DHEC's Immunizations Director, Stephen White. "From the doses that have been allocated to the state, the doses that have been distributed from what we’ve been allocated, and, of course, the number of doses that have been administered in the state."

White said they have a plan to make vaccine information public and hope to have DHEC’s website updated with the new features in a couple weeks.