The South Carolina COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee (VAC) is an advisory body to DHEC. It was formed to make sure different types of leaders from across South Carolina are part of the planning for how people will receive the vaccine. The committee is comprised of diverse leaders representing South Carolina's various communities, including those in health care, church and other faith-based organizations, community organizations, businesses, local governments, and others.
The VAC makes recommendations on populations and considerations for vaccination. DHEC leadership makes decisions about the VAC recommendations taking into consideration additional issues such as vaccine supply, demand, recommendations from the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), state-specific epidemiological concerns (e.g., data on where outbreaks have occurred, death rates by age) and evidence based on risk.
To advise DHEC of a fair, equitable and evidence-based approach to prioritizing critical population groups among those defined by CDC for initial receipt of vaccine; to maximize access to COVID-19 vaccine for each person in SC; and to assist in developing communication strategies so all understand the value to self and others of being vaccinated.
Guiding Ethical Principles:
- To achieve initial COVID-19 vaccination for the benefit of people and populations most at risk for viral exposure, virus transmission, and for severe illness and death from infection.
- To recommend a fair process for prioritization of vaccine recipients of available vaccine supplies.
- To recommend strategies to reach all relevant populations with clear, consistent and transparent communications about vaccine safety, effectiveness, and availability.
- To promote stewardship of available COVID-19 vaccine resources that is proportional to the risk and needs of specific populations and communities.
The VAC began meeting in September 2020 and continues to meet weekly at 12 p.m. on Wednesdays. Although not required, the VAC began recording its meetings, and links to those recordings are archived below on this webpage.
- January 20, 20201 VAC Meeting Recording - (YouTube)
- January 13, 20201 VAC Meeting Recording - (YouTube)
- January 6, 20201 VAC Meeting Recording - (YouTube)
The VAC helps take federal vaccine guidance and adapt it specifically to South Carolina. In addition to helping finalize our state's vaccine plan and vaccination phases, the committee discusses ways to promote community awareness and engagement and assists in developing vaccine communication messaging and dissemination. It is vital to develop credible, compelling and culturally competent messaging to reach targeted populations as well as speak to those who might be hesitant about vaccines. The VAC has provided critical input on vaccine allocation planning in South Carolina and focus group feedback on vaccine hesitancy.
The VAC includes individuals representing:
Health Care and Vaccine providers
- SC Chapter American Academy of Family Physicians
- SC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
- SC Office of Rural Health
- SC Pharmacy Association
- SC Primary Health Care Association
- SC Medical Association
- SC Hospital Association
- USC/Prisma Infectious Disease and Clinical Treatment Advisory Group
- SC Health Care Association
- SC Department of Corrections
- AARP South Carolina
- SC PASOS and Community Health Worker Institute – Arnold School of Public Health
- SC Christian Action Council
- SC HIV Planning Council’s – Positivity Advocacy Committee
- SC Developmental Disabilities Council
- SC Commission for Minority Affairs
- Able South Carolina
- Catawba Indian Nation
- Urban League
Policy and Planning
- Department of Commerce
- SC Independent Colleges and Universities
- SC Department of Education
Health Care Coverage
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- SC Department of Health and Human Services
- DHEC State Epidemiologist (Committee Chair)
- DHEC Assistant State Epidemiologist
- DHEC Immunization Division Director/Agency Coordination Center
- DHEC ACC Immunization Branch Coordinator
- DHEC Community Health Services and Health Equity
- DHEC Population Health and Bioethics