As of Thursday, the state is expanding the range of people who are qualified to administer COVID-19 vaccines in an effort to quicken the speed of distribution.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control also reported another 4,809 new positive cases Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 337,845, with a positive rate of 25.6% for today.

However, this data likely does not reflect the total number of cases as DHEC continues to experience “internal system issues,” causing incomplete reporting issues.

The state is currently still in Phase 1a of vaccine distribution, limiting vaccines strictly to medical workers, long-term care patients and people aged 70+, but DHEC and the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation have expanded the list of medical professionals permitted to administer vaccines. A proactive move, the decision is intended to prepare the state for widespread vaccination distribution when more doses become available.

Newly qualified candidates will include a range of medical professionals from retired RNs to students from accredited medical schools with proper training. Anyone interested in getting involved will be required to enroll in the same federal program other qualifying medical professionals must take prior to administering COVID-19 vaccinations.