To All South Carolina Businesses and Government Entities:
Thank you for your efforts to minimize transmission of COVID-19 as well as your enthusiastic interest in the vaccine. We are currently still in Phase 1a but are asking for your assistance to ensure a smooth transition to 1b. Vaccine supply is still less than demand. Our state Vaccination Advisory Committee (VAC) continues to meet frequently to work through the specific details that define each phase of the rollout. Please check all source links often as these pages are frequently updated.
Phase 1b includes: Workers in health care settings not vaccinated in 1a, persons living and working in shared or overcrowded settings increasing risk of COVID-19 infection, and frontline essential workers. See the DHEC web site for additional guidance:
Phase 1c includes: Age 65 and older, Ages 16-64 with chronic conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19, and essential workers not vaccinated in 1b.
We are asking you to complete this short survey. Remember that the fact that you have essential workers does not mean that all workers are classified as essential frontline workers who may have an increased risk of exposure. This information will be very useful as decisions about the allocation of the limited supply of vaccine to providers in your area(s) are made. Keep this in mind as you complete the survey. We request your understanding of the limited vaccine supply, the goal to protect those at highest risk for exposure to COVID and/or risk of complications first, and your assistance as we move forward. As we make decisions about the allocation of the limited supply of vaccine to providers, we are asking for your assistance to get an estimated headcount of people who are eligible (in this case frontline essential workers) who are also planning to take the vaccine.
Frontline Essential Workers: Please note that this goes beyond the Homeland Security definition of essential workers. Frontline Essential Workers are defined as those in business sectors essential to the functioning of society and who are at substantially higher risk of exposure to COVID-19, that is, their occupational risk is above the risk of the general population.
Criteria for High Exposure Risk
- Those who have frequent or sustained contact with coworkers, including under close working conditions indoors or in poorly ventilated spaces in various types of industrial, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, and other critical infrastructure workplaces.
- Those who have frequent indoor or poorly ventilated contact with the general public, including workers in retail stores, grocery stores or supermarkets, pharmacies, transit and transportation operations, law enforcement and emergency response operations, restaurants, and bars.
Your assistance is vital in assisting us with the number of vaccines needed by the rollout phase, identifying additional vaccine providers in your area as well as your encouragement for those employees who are eligible due to frontline essential worker designation OR age or underlying health-related qualifications to get vaccinated.