When are people with disabilities in SC getting the COVID vaccine?

Understandably, the question on everyone’s mind right now is: When can I get the COVID-19 vaccine? We know it can be difficult to understand all of the mixed messages out there from different government agencies, lawmakers, and news sites. This post will attempt to break down who is included in which phases of the vaccine as clearly as possible, with you–the disability community–in mind.

Need help understanding what the COVID-19 vaccine is and how it works? Watch this social story video!

South Carolina is currently in Phase 1A of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and will open up to Phase 1B starting Monday, March 8! Who does Phase 1A include?

  • Home caregivers for children who have a tracheostomy, are ventilator-dependent or who have a Medically Complex Children’s Waiver. The Medically Complex Children’s Waiver (MCC) is a statewide program to serve children who meet either Nursing Facility or Intermediate Care Facility-Intellectually Disabled level of care and medical criteria. Requires a medical provider’s signed attestation to confirm caregiver meets criteria.)
  • Residents and staff of long-term care facilities/congregate settings
    • “Long-term care facilities” includes community residential care facilities, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, skilled nursing facilities, and psychiatric institutions. (*This list is not final, as we are currently advocating for more facilities to be included in this list.)
  • Frontline healthcare workers
    • This list includes, American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters, home health and hospice workers, physical and occupational therapists and assistants, nurses and nurse assistants, physicians and physician assistants, speech language pathologists, respiratory care practitioners, and more.
  • Anyone 70 years or older, regardless of health status or preexisting conditions. (Starting on 2/8/2021, this will open up to anyone 65 years or older.)
  • Admitted hospital patients who are 65+ years old and do not have COVID-19.
  • State/local government employees and their contractors who are mission-critical for maintaining operations of COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in SC

If you fall into category Phase 1A or 1B, you can use this map to locate vaccination sites and register for yours. If you have difficulty navigating this website, please call Able SC at 803-779-5121 and we can assist you in scheduling a vaccine appointment.

BREAKING NEWS: Phase 1B will be eligible for vaccines starting Monday, March 8. Who does Phase 1B currently include?

  • 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
    • 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 than6 feet) and ongoing (more than 15 minutes) contact with others in the work environment
    • Examples of frontline workers include but are not limited to school staff and daycare workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, law enforcement officers, etc.
  • Individuals at increased risk in settings where people are living and working in close contact
    • Residents and workers in group home settings for the mentally or physically disabled or those with behavioral or substance abuse conditions
    • Workers and residents in homeless shelters
    • Workers and residents in community training homes
    • State and local correctional facility staff with direct inmate contact
    • Correctional and immigration detention facility inmates
    • Migrant farmworkers living in shared housing or reliant on shared transportation
    • All workers in healthcare and community health settings who have routine, direct patient contact and were not vaccinated in Phase 1a

If you fall into category Phase 1A or 1B, you can use this map to locate vaccination sites and register for yours. If you have difficulty navigating this website, please call Able SC at 803-779-5121 and we can assist you in scheduling a vaccine appointment.

DHEC estimates that Phase 1C will be eligible for the vaccine starting in mid-April, but there is no confirmed date yet. Who does Phase 1C currently include?

  • Anyone aged 45 and up
  • Essential workers:
    • This group includes those who work in essential job categories as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) who are not included in Phase 1b because they do not have frequent, close contact with others in the work environment (examples may include construction workers, delivery drivers, utility workers, etc. who do not have frequent, close and ongoing contact with others)

Phase 2 includes ALL people who have not already been vaccinated in the above phases. Currently, SC DHEC anticipates the general public (phase 2) will be able to start receiving the vaccine in late Spring/early Fall 2021.


Other COVID services we offer:

  • Help in advocating for yourself and your rights
  • Assistance understanding the virus, safety tips, and finding COVID-19 testing sites
  • Peer support every Tuesday and Thursday at 1 PM online!
  • Guidance on transitioning out of an institution (like a nursing home, hospital, or care facility) into community-based living
  • Advocacy to prevent at-risk individuals from being institutionalized
  • Connecting individuals with all available resources through Information & Referral.

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