South Carolina continues to lag behind the nation in it’s Covid-19 vaccination rollout. With 4,156,959 administered Covid-19 vaccine doses having been given to the state, the South Carolina now ranks 44th in the percentage of distributed vaccines that have been administered with 78.73%. New Mexico ranks first with 98.93% of their distributed vaccines having been administered.
South Carolina’s rank improves slightly when you look at the percentage of population fully vaccinated which now stands at 38.2%. This percentage moves South Carolina to 40th position in this metric. To put this in perspective, 46.1% of all Americans are now fully vaccinated.
Why This Matters
Numbers released last week give a sobering picture of the risk of bypassing Covid-19 vaccination. The latest data from May show that 99 Percent of New U.S. COVID-19 Hospitalizations, Deaths Occurring Among Unvaccinated. However, the Covid-19 vaccines do appear to be working for those that get them. Covid-19 infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 (0.1 percent) of the more than 853,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations, and only about 150 (0.8 percent) of the more than 18,000 COVID-19 deaths.
On Tuesday, Rochelle Walensky, M.D., director of the CDC, said COVID-19 vaccination is so effective that “nearly every death, especially among adults, due to COVID-19, is, at this point, entirely preventable,” and called such deaths “particularly tragic,”
Covid-19 Variants are Spreading in the Unvaccinated South
The Delta variant is on its way to becoming the dominant strain in the U.S., with cases doubling every two weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “In South Carolina, only 17,000 South Carolinian’s age 20-24 have received at least one shot, which is by far the lowest vaccination number for any eligible age group in the state. We need to change that,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, Public Health Director. “The Delta variant especially can be dangerous even for this age group. In addition, unvaccinated young adults could carry the variant and pass it to their parents, grandparents, and other vulnerable people in our communities.”
“A variant like delta that has more transmissibility will lead to more hospitalizations and more deaths among a population that has low vaccination coverage,” said Dr. Henry Walke, director of the CDC’s division of preparedness and emerging infections. “When we see lower vaccine uptake in places that rolled back restrictions and variants like delta spreading, that’s exactly what we infectious disease doctors worry about.”
“The health threats due to variants significantly reduce when people get their vaccination,” Dr. Brannon Traxler added. “We understand COVID-19 vaccination comes with questions and concerns. We strongly urge all eligible folks to become educated with science-based, accurate facts and to make the decision to get these life-saving doses. If more people are not vaccinated and the virus is allowed to continue to spread, it could mutate further to the point of making the vaccines less effective, which we absolutely do not want.”