SC adds some parents to vaccine list, considers Phase 1B amid high demand

SC adds some parents to vaccine list, considers Phase 1B amid high demand
South Carolina health officials are making a few thousands parents eligible for the coronavirus vaccine as they begin to finalize plans for the next phase of COVID-19 vaccine rollouts in the state. (Source: Live 5/File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - South Carolina health officials are making a few thousands parents eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says parents who are home caregivers of medically fragile or severely disabled children can now get the shot.

State Epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell estimates that would make about 3,000 more people eligible for the vaccine.

Demand has skyrocketed since the state made the vaccine available to people aged 70 and older.

Some hospitals have had to cancel appointments because they don’t have enough of the vaccine.

South Carolina gets about 63,000 first doses weekly. Health officials say they don’t anticipate getting any more than that soon.

Health leaders deciding who should be in Phase 1B

South Carolina remains in Phase 1A of the vaccine rollout. That first phase primarily includes frontline healthcare workers and residents of assisted living facilities and nursing homes.

The state recently opened vaccine availability for people 70 and older.

But while those people are still scrambling to find available appointments, state health leaders are already discussing the next phase, Phase 1B of vaccinations.

The state’s vaccine advisory committee says in addition to people like corrections officers and postal workers, they want to see the following in that second phase:

  • Birth doulas, a person who guides a woman through childbirth
  • Employees who provide topical oxygen therapy
  • School employees who care for disabled children who need assistance
  • Substitute teachers

The state health department will still have to approve the recommendations.

It is not yet clear when those in Phase 1B will be able to begin making appointments for their doses.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.