Cases, Hospitalizations and Deaths Among Individuals Not Fully Vaccinated

On July 8, 2021, DHEC began reporting data about COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status. The agency will continue analyzing the data it has, and report results every two weeks to keep South Carolinians informed about the benefits and limitations of vaccinations.

Reported Analyses

Following an initial analysis that revealed the overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the first two weeks of June 2021 were among residents who were not fully vaccinated, DHEC identified similar results when looking at provisional data for the time frame of Oct 16– Nov 15, 2021. Results of this analysis are below.

SC Vax Status Graphic Oct 16 - Nov. 15

Following an initial analysis that revealed the overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the first two weeks of June 2021 were among residents who were not fully vaccinated, DHEC identified similar results when looking at provisional data for the time frame of Oct 1– Oct 31, 2021. Results of this analysis are below.

Vaccination Status Graphic Oct 1-31, 2021
  • Among the 20,951 reported cases where we were able to determine vaccine status, 16,244 (77.5%) of cases were considered not fully vaccinated*.
  • Among the 788 reported cases who were hospitalized with COVID and where we were able to determine vaccine status, 525 (66.6%) were considered not fully vaccinated*.
  • Among the 265 reported deaths from COVID where vaccine status was able to be determined, 175 (66.0%) were considered not fully vaccinated*.

Footnote:
* An individual is considered fully vaccinated 14 days or more after completion of either a 2-dose or a 1-dose FDA-approved vaccine series

Following an initial analysis that revealed the overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the first two weeks of June 2021 were among residents who were not fully vaccinated, DHEC identified similar results when looking at provisional data for the time frame of Sep 16 – Oct 15, 2021. Results of this analysis are below.

Graphic of COVID-19 Vaccination Status (Sept. 16 - Oct. 15)
  • Among the 31,122 reported cases where we were able to determine vaccine status, 24,910 (80.0%) of cases were considered not fully vaccinated*
  • Among the 1,246 reported cases who were hospitalized with COVID and where we were able to determine vaccine status, 869 (69.7%) were considered not fully vaccinated*.
  • Among the 436 reported deaths from COVID where vaccine status was able to be determined, 319 (73.2%) were considered not fully vaccinated*.

Footnote:
* An individual is considered fully vaccinated 14 days or more after completion of either a 2-dose or a 1-dose FDA-approved vaccine series

Following an initial analysis that revealed the overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the first two weeks of June 2021 were among residents who were not fully vaccinated, DHEC identified similar results when looking at provisional data for the time frame of Sep 01 – Sep 30, 2021. Results of this analysis are below.

Chart of people and their vaccination status with COVID infection
  • Among the 34,309 reported cases where we were able to determine vaccine status, 28,561 (83.2%) of cases were considered not fully vaccinated*.
  • Among the 1,694 reported cases who were hospitalized with COVID and where we were able to determine vaccine status, 1,203 (71.0%) were considered not fully vaccinated*.
  • Among the 664 reported deaths from COVID where vaccine status was able to be determined, 507 (76.4%) were considered not fully vaccinated*.

Following an initial analysis that revealed the overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the first two weeks of June 2021 were among residents who were not fully vaccinated, DHEC identified similar results when looking at provisional data for the time frame of Aug. 16-Sept. 15. Results of this analysis are below.

Graphic of COVID-19 Vaccination Status (Aug 16 - Sept 15)
  • Among the 31,993 reported cases where we were able to determine vaccine status, 27,435 (85.8%) of cases were considered not fully vaccinated*.  
  • Among the 1,771 reported cases who were hospitalized with COVID and where we were able to determine vaccine status, 1,277 (72.1%) were considered not fully vaccinated*.  
  • Among the 760 reported deaths from COVID where vaccine status was able to be determined, 589 (77.5%) were considered not fully vaccinated*.

Following an initial analysis that revealed the overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the first two weeks of June 2021 were among residents who were not fully vaccinated, DHEC identified similar results when looking at provisional data for the time frame of Aug. 1-Aug. 31. Results of this analysis are below.

Vax Status
  • From Aug. 1-Aug. 31, DHEC reported 122,746 cases among South Carolinians.
  • Among the 27,201 reported cases where we were able to determine vaccine status, 23,166 (85.2%) of cases were considered not fully vaccinated.
  • Among the 1,522 reported cases who were hospitalized with COVID and where we were able to determine vaccine status, 1,080 (71.0%) were considered not fully vaccinated.
  • Among the 611 reported deaths from COVID where vaccine status was able to be determined, 458 (75.0%) were considered not fully vaccinated.

Following an initial analysis that revealed the overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the first two weeks of June 2021 were among residents who were not fully vaccinated, DHEC identified similar results when looking at provisional data for the time frame of July 16-Aug. 15. Results of this analysis are below.

Yellow Vaccination Staus and COVID-19 Graphic for July 16 - Aug. 16, 2021
  • From July 16-Aug. 15, DHEC reported 67,469 cases among South Carolinians.
  • Among the 21,990 reported cases where we were able to determine vaccine status, 18,810 (85.5%) of cases were considered not fully vaccinated.
  • Among the 1,088 reported cases who were hospitalized with COVID and where we were able to determine vaccine status, 779 (71.6%) were considered not fully vaccinated.
  • Among the 384 reported deaths from COVID where vaccine status was able to be determined, 301 (78.4%) were considered not fully vaccinated.

Following an initial analysis that revealed the overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the first two weeks of June 2021 were among residents who were not fully vaccinated, DHEC identified similar results when looking at provisional data for the time frame of July 1-31. Results of this analysis are below.

yellow Vaccination Staus and COVID-19 Graphic
  • From July 1-31, DHEC reported 26,848 cases among South Carolinians.
  • Among the 14,262 reported cases where we were able to determine vaccine status, 12,491 (88%) of cases were considered not fully vaccinated.
  • Among the 550 reported cases who were hospitalized with COVID and where we were able to determine vaccine status, 424 (77%) were considered not fully vaccinated.
  • Among the 110 reported deaths from COVID where vaccine status was able to be determined, 87 (79%) were considered not fully vaccinated.

Following an initial analysis that revealed the overwhelming number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the first two weeks of June 2021 were among residents who were not fully vaccinated, DHEC identified similar results when looking at provisional data for the time frame of June 1-30. Results of this analysis are below. 

  • 5,344 cases were reported
    • Of those where vaccine status was able to be determined (n=3312), 3079 (93%) were considered not fully vaccinated.
  • 243 COVID-related hospitalizations were reported
    • Of those where vaccine status was able to be determined (n=167), 143 (86%) were considered not fully vaccinated.
  • 39 COVID-related deaths were reported
    • Of those where vaccine status was able to be determined (n=21), 19 (90%) were considered not fully vaccinated.

DHEC performed an analysis of newly reported cases, deaths and hospitalizations in South Carolina during a two-week period, from June 1-14. That analysis shows:

  • Of the 1,635 newly reported cases for which we were able to determine the individuals’ vaccine status, 1,540 (94%) were not fully vaccinated.
  • Of the 92 reported cases that required hospitalization and for which we were able to determine vaccine status, 83 (90.2%) – were not fully vaccinated.
  • Of the 11 reported deaths during those two weeks where vaccine status was able to be determined, all 11 (100%) – were not considered fully vaccinated.

Example 1: No vaccine is 100% effective. Let's say we have a super vaccine that is 99% effective and look at breakthrough cases:

  • When 0 people are vaccinated, all cases will be among those not vaccinated
  • If 100 people are vaccinated, then 1% will have a breakthrough—that's 1 person
  • If 1,000 people are  vaccinated, then 1% will have a breakthrough—that's 10 people
  • If 10,000 people are vaccinated, then 1% will have a breakthrough—that's 100 people
  • If 100,000 people are vaccinated,  then 1% will have a breakthrough—that's 1,000 people
  • If 1,000,000 people are vaccinated, then 1% will have a breakthrough—that's 10,000 people
  • If 2,000,000 people are vaccinated (SC currently), then 1% will have a breakthrough—that's 20,000 people

Example 2: Now let's say of those breakthrough cases, 5% are hospitalized and 1% die:

  • 20,000 breakthrough, 1,000 hospitalized, 200 die
  • So far SC has had 246 breakthrough cases, 200 hospitalized and 40 deaths but that number is expected to rise
  • As more people are vaccinated, we are going to see more breakthrough cases. We need to watch for is whether the percent of vaccinated people are  hospitalized or if deaths rise
  • Eventually, if 100% of people were vaccinated, then 100% of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths would be breakthrough cases
  • Not all the students in the College of Charleston mumps outbreak last year were unvaccinated; some were breakthrough cases. That's why we need to vaccinate as many as possible to break the chain of infection, and mask up until we get more people vaccinated
  • Vaccination leads to much milder disease in breakthrough, dramatically decreasing the number of hospitalizations and deaths
animated bar chart

Graphic by Kristen Panthagani, PhD, from Some vaccinated people are getting COVID. What does this mean? July 2021 blog post.

About this data

  • To perform its analyses, DHEC uses the information a person voluntarily provides about their vaccination status during a case investigation.
  • A person who has not reached the two-week period after their final dose is considered not fully vaccinated.
  • A person who gets sick after the two-week period after their final dose is considered fully vaccinated and a breakthrough case.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are effective and a critical tool in bringing this pandemic to an end. However, no vaccine is 100 percent effective and there will be a small percentage of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths among fully vaccinated individuals. Being fully vaccinated makes the illness less severe for those who may still get sick. Learn more here.