COLUMBIA, S.C. — With South Carolina preparing to expand COVID-19 vaccine availability, Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers is urging those in the food and agriculture sector to step up and be vaccinated when they are eligible.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced March 2 that Phase 1b of vaccine availability will begin Monday, March 8, 2021.
SCDHEC’s criteria for Phase 1b can be found at scdhec.gov/covid19/covid-19-vaccine. It is apparent that many people who work in South Carolina’s food and agriculture industries meet SCDHEC’s definition of “frontline workers,” “migrant farmworkers living in shared housing or reliant on shared transportation,” and/or other 1b qualifications.
Commissioner Weathers encourages anyone who meets the 1b criteria to reach out to their health care or pharmacy provider about scheduling a vaccination appointment. SCDHEC also maintains an online service, scdhec.gov/vaxlocator, and a hotline, 1-866-365-8110.
The South Carolina Department of Agriculture is also in communication with state authorities, health care providers and agricultural businesses about setting up some on-site vaccination clinics at workplaces during this phase.
“I’d like to thank South Carolina’s agribusiness workforce for helping sustain us through the past year,” Weathers said. “I urge those who are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect their own health and that of their families, communities, and coworkers. Agribusiness is an essential industry, not to mention South Carolina’s largest industry, and I hope we all do our part to put an end to this pandemic.”
–Eva Moore, SCDA