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COVID-19 vaccine: When will I be able to get vaccinated in the Two-State?

Published: Jan. 11, 2021 at 12:08 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - As the COVID-19 vaccine continues to be distributed, many are beginning to wonder when they’ll be able to receive it.

Where are we on the vaccine rollout in the Two-State?

Right now, South Carolina is in Phase 1A of the rollout and Georgia is also in Phase 1A.

Let’s take a look at how you’ll get the chance for the vaccine.

South Carolina

In the Palmetto State, the Department of Health and Environmental Control has planned out the vaccine distribution in several phases and subphases.

Phase 1

Phase 1 is broken down into three subphases in an effort to get the vaccine to frontline workers, employees who are considered “essential” by the state, state residents above the age of 65, and state residents who have underlying health conditions.

Phase 1A will cover the following:

  • Healthcare workers Initial focus on frontline healthcare workers at high risk of exposure and mission-critical to the overarching goal of preventing death
  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities
  • Admitted hospital patients, who are aged 65 years and older, as long as they do not currently have COVID-19 and a provider feels it is indicated for them

Healthcare workers include:

  • Anesthesiology assistants, registered cardiovascular invasive specialists, and operating room staff
  • Athletic Trainers
  • American Sign Language (ASL) and other interpreters in healthcare facilities
  • Autopsy room staff, coroners, embalmers, and funeral home staff at risk of exposure to bodily fluids
  • Chiropractors
  • Dentists and dental hygienists and technicians
  • Dietary and food services staff in healthcare facilities
  • Environmental services staff in healthcare facilities
  • Harbor pilots
  • Home health and hospice workers
  • Hospital transport personnel
  • Laboratory personnel and phlebotomists
  • Licensed dietitians
  • Medical assistants
  • Medical first responders (paid and volunteer): EMS; fire department and law enforcement personnel who provide emergency medical care
  • Nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse’s aides/ assistants
  • Opticians and optometrists and assistants/ technicians
  • Persons providing medical care in correctional facilities and correctional officers
  • Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians
  • Physical and occupational therapists and assistants
  • Physicians, including medical house staff (i.e., interns, residents, fellows), and physician assistants
  • Podiatrists
  • Public health healthcare workers who are frequently interacting with persons with potential COVID-19 infection
  • Radiology technicians
  • Respiratory care practitioners, such as respiratory therapists
  • Speech language pathologists and assistants and audiologists
  • Students and interns of the above categories

Phase 1B, which is expected to begin in late winter 2021, will include the following:

  • All people aged 75 years and older
  • Frontline essential workers Sectors included by ACIP: firefighters, law enforcement officers, corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, USPS workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the educational sector—teachers, support staff, and daycare workers

Phase 1C, expected to begin in late spring or fall 2021, will include:

  • All people aged 65 – 74 years and older
  • People aged 16 – 64 years with certain underlying health conditions that puts them at high risk for severe disease (list by CDC)
  • Other essential workers Examples included by ACIP: people who work in transportation and logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety, and public health staff who are non-frontline healthcare workers

The final phase, Phase 2, will include the rest of the state’s population.

Learn where vaccines are available and how to make an appointment at scdhec.gov/vaxlocator.

Georgia

In the Peach State, the state Department of Public Health has drafted a four-phased approach to vaccinating the general population with several subphases.

Much like South Carolina, Georgia is beginning to vaccinate front-line workers who are helping deal with the virus directly.

Phase 1

Much like South Carolina, Georgia is beginning to vaccinate front-line workers who are helping deal with the virus directly. In Phase 1A, those people include:

  • Healthcare personnel likely to be exposed to or treat people with COVID-19
  • First Responders
  • People at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including those with underlying medical conditions and people 65 years of age and older
  • Other essential workers

Phase 1B will include other essential workers and people at higher risk of severe COVID-19 illness. Examples of people that will be included in this Phase are listed below:

  • Essential workers (non-healthcare) who perform job tasks across critical infrastructure sectors ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health, safety, economic and national security.

Phase 1C will include persons aged 16-64 with medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19.

Phase 2

Phase 2 will continue to snowball all those in Phase 1 that have not yet been vaccinated.

Others include:

  • Non-clinical public health, hospital, and LTC facilities and their household members. 2. Critical populations as defined in Section 4 of this plan. 3. Other populations for whom vaccine has been recommended.

Phase 3

Phase 3 will continue the work of vaccinating populations listed in Phase 1 and Phase 2. Others include:

  • The general population includes all populations for which vaccines have been recommended.
  • Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 populations in need of additional doses to complete vaccination series (i.e. dose 2).

Phase 4

Phase 4 focuses on mitigation and recovery efforts after most of the population receives the vaccine.

DPH says this phase includes the following:

  1. Ensure accurate documentation of reported adverse events and doses administered.
  2. Return surplus vaccine following federal guidelines.
  3. Follow the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) and Medical Countermeasures Plane (MCM) Plan as needed.
  4. Document lessons learned and adjust vaccination plans based on lessons learned.

Mitigation minimizes the adverse impact of an emergency and reduces vulnerability to future emergencies. Mitigation measures may be:

  1. Continued vaccination campaigns to reduce the risk of infection.
  2. Continued public information and education.
  3. Regular training and exercises to improve public health’s ability to respond to future outbreaks and pandemics.

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