On Dec. 30, a day after providing an update on COVID-19 vaccines, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced that the statewide vaccination percentage per doses received by the federal government is at 31 percent, which is above the national average of 19 percent and nearly double that of other southeastern states.
“We continue to successfully roll out our state’s carefully crafted statewide vaccination plan and the number of Phase 1a individuals who can currently receive the vaccine is increasing each week,” said Dr. Linda Bell, South Carolina State Epidemiologist. “Our overarching goal is to prevent further loss of life to this deadly virus, and with our state’s irreplaceable front-line medical workers and vulnerable nursing home and long-term care facility residents and staff receiving vaccine, we are well on our way to meeting that goal.”
Based on current dashboards and reports, the utilization rates (doses administered and doses allocated and/or shipped of Pfizer and Moderna vaccine) indicates:
South Carolina: 35,158/112,125 (31%)
North Carolina 63,500/323,125 (20%)
Georgia: 52,242/372,900 (14%)
Alabama: 20,354/128,175 (16%)
Using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 Data Tracker, the national vaccine administration percentage, based on doses distributed and first doses administered, is currently 19 percent.
Dr. Bell reminded South Carolinians that while more vaccines continue to arrive in the state, doses are limited in South Carolina like in all states. She also encouraged everyone to remain patient and to follow the guidance of public health officials.
“It will be an unknown amount of time before everyone who would like to be vaccinated can receive vaccine,” Dr. Bell said. “We are calling on all South Carolinians to continue to be patient and understand that an endeavor like this will take many weeks to complete the initial phases and months to achieve our ultimate goal of coverage for the population. When it’s my turn, I’ll be among the first in line waiting to receive the vaccine, but until then, I’ll continue to take the daily actions that protect myself, my loved ones and my community. It is incumbent upon each of us to wear our masks, stay physically distanced, get tested regularly and stay home if we’re ill with any symptoms.”
As residents across South Carolina prepare to celebrate the new year, Dr. Bell warned of potential increases in COVID-19 cases and urged everyone to take steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by staying home.