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South Carolina surpasses one million COVID-19 vaccine doses given

According to DHEC, the one million doses are not people who are fully vaccinated, but doses distributed.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina has administered more than one million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

According to the agency, a total of 1,003,558 Pfizer and Moderna first and second doses have been given as of March 2. 

According to DHEC, the one million doses are not people who are fully vaccinated, but doses distributed. About 690,000 have received at least one dose, while around 270,000 have gotten two doses, meaning full vaccination. 

The South Carolina Department of Health and Control (DHEC) and Governor Henry McMaster announced earlier Tuesday that beginning March 8, the state will move to the next phase in vaccine roll out, Phase 1B. 

The new phase that begins Monday will include the following: 

  • Anyone aged 55 and up
  • People with increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
    • People aged 16-64 with one or more of the following high-risk medical conditions:
      • Cancer (current, not a history of cancer), chronic kidney disease (any stage), chronic lung disease, diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2), Down syndrome, heart disease (congestive heart disease, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, pulmonary hypertension), HIV/AIDS, solid organ transplant, obesity (BMI >30), pregnancy, sickle cell disease.
    • People who have a developmental or other severe high-risk disability that makes developing severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 infection more likely
  • Frontline workers with increased occupational risk
    • Frontline workers with increased occupational risk are people who:
      • Must be in-person at their place of work, and
      • Perform a job that puts them at increased risk of exposure due to their frequent, close (less than 6 feet) and ongoing (more than 15 minutes) contact with others in the work environment

RELATED: Half of all South Carolinians to be eligible for vaccine next week

“Getting the COVID-19 vaccine into the arms of one million people in the matter of just a few months is a testament to our state’s commitment to ending the COVID-19 pandemic in South Carolina,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director. “We thank our local leaders, providers and community partners for your tireless work in helping us get the vaccine into our communities. During the coming days, weeks and months ahead, we hope to see even more South Carolinians getting vaccinated.”

According to DHEC, South Carolinians should continue to protect themselves. The agency believes it will be summer before enough of the population is vaccinated to relax safety guidelines. 

RELATED: New single-dose COVID vaccine will arrive in SC this weekend

DHEC reminds all South Carolinians that until 70 to 80 percent of the population is vaccinated, everyone should take the same daily precautions that protect against the virus, even if you have been vaccinated. This means wearing your masks, staying six feet away from others, washing your hands often and getting tested regularly, according to DHEC.

DHEC announced the state’s first allocation of roughly 41,100 doses of the newly authorized Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) single-dose vaccine earlier this week. 

"We believe this new vaccine will help speed up vaccination efforts across the state because it's a single-dose shot and also can be stored easily, at refrigerated temperatures, for several months," said Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist. “When it’s your turn, I recommend you get any vaccine offered to you. Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen vaccines are all safe and effective at preventing severe illness and deaths.”

For the latest COVID-19 vaccine information, visit scdhec.gov/vaxfacts.