News Releases

News Releases

Public Notice: DHEC Does Not Issue Adult Vaccine Exemptions


Oct. 5, 2021

In light of questions received recently by members of the public, medical providers and media, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) is issuing the following guidance as a public service announcement for those seeking adult medical or religious exemptions from COVID-19 vaccine requirements. 

DHEC does not issue vaccine exemptions of any kind for adults. 

DHEC has no role in an employer’s decision to require vaccinations.

DHEC does have authority over immunization requirements for school and childcare attendance, and as required by South Carolina law, DHEC developed and grants an exemption to childhood immunization requirements for religious beliefs. The COVID-19 vaccine is not required for school and childcare attendance.

State law, however, only applies to daycare and school-aged children, not adults. Please do not come to public health department seeking adult vaccine exemptions for any reason. DHEC does not govern or regulate vaccine requirements from businesses, including whether to grant an exemption.

In general, vaccine exemptions for adults should be requested from the company or other entity requiring the vaccine following the procedures and documentation requirements stipulated by that company. The decision about whether to grant an exemption is solely determined by the company or entity requiring the vaccination

According to the FDA approved instructions for use, medical contraindications to vaccination with COVID-19 vaccines include:

  • Severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a previous dose of a vaccine, or
  • A known (diagnosed) allergy to a component of a vaccine (see Appendix C for a list of vaccine components)

Any currently FDA-approved or FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine can be administered to people with underlying medical conditions who have no contraindications to vaccination.



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