GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -- South Carolinians ages 16 and older can now roll up their sleeves and get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Dr. Saria Saccocio, Prisma Health ambulatory chief medical officer and co-chair of Prisma Health’s COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, said they have received more than 30,000 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week and that's allowed them to open thousands of appointments statewide. 

We crunched some numbers and as of this morning 675,000 people in the state have completed the vaccination process.

We calculated 1.6 million more people will have to do so for South Carolina to achieve herd immunity, according to DHEC's statistics. 

We talked with people in downtown Greenville who become eligible today and many of them didn't know phase two was starting, but they tell us they're ready to roll up their sleeves.

"I'm a contractor. Safety's first," said Rey Rodriguez. "I'm going to take it myself the minute I'm eligible for it."

About 47,000 people 15 through 55 have already been vaccinated in Greenville County because they qualified for previous phases.

Shealy Long was one of them. She said she hopes the rest of the younger population signs up soon.

"We all have to do our part in some capacity whether that's, you know, wearing masks, getting the vaccine," Long said. "If they feel like it's the right decision for themselves, they should go do it."

Once a vaccine skeptic, Ian Milks said now he's ready to sign up, too.

"I've never had a flu vaccine in my life. I've never got the flu, so I was kind of living by that motto," Milks said. "But the idea that I could not have the negative side effects of COVID, but pass it to somebody else that I care about, I have actually opened my mind up to the possibility of getting the vaccine."

Loved ones are also on the mind of Rodriguez -- he's lost three family members to COVID-19.

Now the 48-year-old says not taking chances and when he gets his shot he'll, only feel relief. 

"I really will feel safe," Rodriguez said. "You can't go wrong with it, you know. Might as well take it and be safe."

Copyright 2021 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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