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South Carolina Ranks Fifth in Nation for COVID-19 Vaccine Use for Second Consecutive Week

February 1, 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C.  – A new national report shows South Carolina now ranks fifth in the nation for how quickly the state is getting COVID-19 vaccine doses put into people’s arms. Becker’s Hospital Review, a national healthcare information forum, released its daily “States ranked by percentage of COVID-19 vaccines administered” report earlier today and South Carolina is the fifth-ranking state for already using nearly 78 percent of the total doses of vaccine received in the state, that’s up 10 percent from last week.

When Becker’s compiled its Feb. 1 report, it used accurate-at-the-time information from Jan. 31 that South Carolina had received a total of 560,150 doses of vaccine and had given 439,541 shots: a 78 percent utilization rate. 

“Our ultimate goal is to save lives,“ said Marshall Taylor, DHEC Acting Director. “While the state’s current vaccine supply is less than demand, DHEC, in collaboration with Governor and our state partners, continues to work toward meeting our state's shared vaccination goal—to get vaccine in South Carolinians arms quickly, safely, equitably, and ethically.”

The Becker's report uses data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide a uniform comparison of vaccine usage among states. It shows the rate at which doses are used based on the total number of shots given out of total doses received.

In mid-January, the CDC had indicated South Carolina was among one of the slowest states for vaccine use based on a rate of doses distributed and shots given per 100,000, but that reporting failed to include the more than 200,000 doses South Carolina has dedicated in lump-sum to a statewide effort for vaccinating every long-term care facility resident and staff member in the state. The manner in which Becker’s report shows the rate of use is a much better way to report this information, especially when drawing comparisons between states.

“A week ago, South Carolina also ranked fifth in the nation for vaccine use and had a 68% utilization rate. Our state’s usage rate of giving vaccine continues to improve weekly with the help of our vaccine providers,” Taylor said. “Safe and effective vaccines and following public health guidance are how we win the fight against COVID-19.”

Until enough vaccine is available for everyone, South Carolinians should continue to take the daily disease prevention precautions that work, as COVID-19 is still spreading across our state at high levels. Even after receiving your vaccine, you’ll need to wear a mask and physically distance from others until enough of the population is vaccinated against this deadly virus.

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