Update on S.C. Vaccination Rollout

By | March 2, 2021

President Andrew Hsu sent the following message to the campus community on March 2, 2021:

Dear Campus Community, 

As you may have heard, South Carolina health officials announced today that the state will advance to Phase 1b of its COVID-19 vaccination plan beginning Monday, March 8. 

This is great news for our state and our campus as the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) continues a phased rollout of the vaccine, with the goal of vaccinating every South Carolinian who wants to receive a vaccine by this summer. The College is working closely with its health partner, the Medical University of South Carolina, to develop a vaccine distribution plan for the campus community. More details on scheduling and eligibility for faculty, staff and students will be announced to campus as soon as possible. 

The College and MUSC are planning to offer vaccination events on campus aimed toward conveniently serving our employees and students, but due to a current shortage in vaccine supply, at this point we do not know the timing/details of those opportunities. Employees and students are not required to use this service. In the meantime, employees and students (for those students qualifying for Phase 1b) should make their own arrangements through existing scheduling pathways.   

DHEC’s guidance for COVID-19 vaccination can be found on the agency’s website. Online appointments can be made by using scdhec.gov/vaxlocator or you can call DHEC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line at 1-866-365-8110 for help. 

In general, Phase 1b includes the following groups: 

  • 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
    • Frontline workers with increased occupational risk are people who:
      • 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 than 6 feet) and ongoing (more than 15 minutes) contact with others in the work environment

DHEC anticipates Phase 1c will begin on approximately April 12, 2021, and will include people aged 45 and up and essential workers. Phase 2 is expected to begin on approximately May 3, 2021, and will include all South Carolinians aged 16 and up. 

I do hope that every member of our campus will get vaccinated according to their eligibility and that we will soon achieve the herd immunity that is so important to our ability to return to campus for a traditional, in-person semester this fall. 




Andrew T. Hsu, Ph.D.


College of Charleston