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9 out of 10 SC COVID cases, deaths last month were in the unvaccinated, report states

Published: Jul. 25, 2021 at 12:00 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2021 at 7:15 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control says unvaccinated patients accounted for more than 90 percent of new COVID-19 cases and deaths in June.

That figure is based on an analysis released last week by the agency of provisional data for the month of June.

DHEC reported:

  • 93% of the 5,344 cases reported between June 1 and June 30 were in people who were not fully vaccinated
  • 86% of the 243 COVID-related hospitalizations reported in June were in people who were not fully vaccinated
  • 90% of the 39 COVID-related deaths last month were among people considered not fully vaccinated

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

“This data is further proof that vaccinations save lives,” DHEC Public Health Director Dr. Brannon Traxler said. “We can’t stress this enough: eligible residents should protect themselves and their loved ones by getting fully vaccinated.”

Traxler said the two-week period after which someone becomes considered fully vaccinated is significant because it allows the vaccine to reach “full efficacy,” giving a person the best chance to stave off the virus and its impacts if a breakthrough case occurs.

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DHEC says 542 breakthrough cases, those cases involving someone who is fully vaccinated contracting COVID, have been reported.

The COVID-19 vaccines have never been assumed to prevent someone from being infected with COVID-19. But health experts have insisted that in people who are fully vaccinated, the illness is much less severe.

Vaccines are available for ages 12 and up and are the number one way to end the pandemic by protecting individuals from the virus and its variants, DHEC says.

RELATED: UofSC students face COVID requirements to return to campus this fall

The latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 53.4% of South Carolinians are 12 or older have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Those of the same age range that are considered fully vaccinated in South Carolina, however, drops to 46.8%.

The Palmetto State has consistently trailed the national average. The CDC says 66.2% of Americans 12 and older have received at least one dose, while 57.3% are considered fully vaccinated.

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