HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (WTOC) - The governor of South Carolina and the Department of Health and Environmental Control announced Wednesday the age of those eligible to receive the COVDI-19 vaccine is being expanded to anyone 65 and older.
But local hospitals say that doesn’t mean they’ll be getting them immediately.
Governor Henry McMaster announced any resident of South Carolina over the stage of 65, regardless of their current health or pre-existing conditions, could start signing up for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment on Monday, Feb. 8.
DHEC reports 81.7 percent of COVID-19 deaths in South Carolina have been in the age group of 65 or older.
Hilton Head Regional officials say they are thrilled they can expand their services to this group but are also aware of the logistical issues this could bring
“Right now, we have a lot of the 70+ crowd that is already scheduled over the next few weeks, so we are going to take care of them. But we will be opening more appointments and we will be looking to accommodate everyone as soon as we can,” Hilton Head Regional Market CEO Jeremy Clark said.
Hilton Head Regional has been completely booked in their vaccine distribution, in the last week they have doubled the number of vaccines they put into arms from 5,000 to 10,000.
Those who are now eligible to sign up will likely not get a vaccine appointment until April. But they say people should keep an eye on are their appointment opportunities and take the first one they can get.
“We know that more supply is coming online, and we want people to get that vaccine as soon as they can regardless of where it is.”