Local school employees can get COVID-19 vaccine as state moves into its next vaccination phase

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By HEATHER WALTERS 

Teachers in the Colleton County School District can now choose to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, starting on Monday March 8. 

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster announced on Tuesday that the state was beginning to implement Phase 1B of its COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan. As a part of this plan, teachers, teachers assistants, all school support staff, custodians, nutrition workers, bus drivers and district employees can begin scheduling their COVID-19 vaccine. 

The vaccine is approved to fight COVID-19, the contagious respiratory virus. 

Colleton County School District Spokesman Sean Gruber confirmed on Tuesday via email that local school district employees will be able to schedule an appointment for their vaccine starting Monday. 

“Colleton County School District continues to explore options for helping our teachers and staff gain access to the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said. “We have already reached out to healthcare providers, such as Fetter Health Care Network, to see if/when they will host vaccination distribution locations in our district. It is our preference to offer on-site vaccination locations to our teachers and staff, and we will release additional information on this matter as soon as possible.”

In addition to teachers, Phase 1B allows the following South Carolina residents to receive the vaccine: 

Any person age 55 and older; 

A person age16-64 who has a high-risk medical condition;

Frontline workers, including daycare workers, grocery store workers, law enforcementofficers, teachers, etc. 

For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations, including guidance on how to schedule a vaccination appointment, please visit scdehc.gov/vaxlocator or call the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line at (866) 365-8110.

Until now, the Palmetto State has been operating under its Phase 1A of the vaccine distribution plan. This only allowed for South Carolina residents ages 65 and older to receive the vaccine, along with frontline health care workers, senior living community residents and workers, hospital personnel and dentists and chiropractors. 

With Phase 1B now in operation, South Carolina residents can look forward to the next phase: according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), Phase 1C will begin tentatively on April 12 of this year,and will allow for 

The final phase is Phase 2. That is slated to begin tentatively in early May. 

As of Tuesday, DHEC is reporting that more than 1 million South Carolina residents have already received the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“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.”

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