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SC trails nation in COVID vaccination rates

Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 11:08 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 4:50 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - The Palmetto State is falling behind national percentages in terms of the number of people who are getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest data shows 65.4% of American adults have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. For seniors 65 or older, 87.3% have taken at least their first dose.

South Carolina percentages drop to 53% for adults and drop slightly to 83.7% for seniors, according to the CDC.

President Joe Biden set July 4 as a goal by which he hoped to see 70% of American adults having taken at least one dose of the vaccine.

But the White House said Tuesday that percentage has only been achieved by those 30 or older.

The Biden Administration is hopeful that the figure will increase to include Americans 27 years old or older by Independence Day, even as it prepares to miss the goal for all Americans 18 and older.

The White House said meeting Biden’s vaccination goal is less important than the pace of the nation’s reopening, which is exceeding even its own internal projections as the overwhelming majority of the nation’s most vulnerable people are fully vaccinated and cases and deaths are at their lowest rates since the earliest days of the pandemic.

But vaccination rates have dropped over the past month even as shots have become more available.

One is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after taking the second dose of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The CDC says only 46% of South Carolina adults are fully vaccinated while 74.8% of seniors are fully vaccinated.

Those numbers again fall below the national rates of 55.9% for adults and 77.1% for seniors.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control lists vaccination rates among South Carolina residents 12 years old and older. Their data, with that expanded age range, shows 47% of South Carolina residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 40.6% are completely vaccinated.

Since the pandemic began, DHEC has confirmed 492,667 cases of COVID-19 in the state and 8,626 deaths.

The CDC recorded 33.3 million COVID-19 cases nationally and confirmed 599.354, according to the latest data.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.