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DHEC: Unvaccinated individuals account for 90% of COVID-19 cases and deaths, 86% of hospitalizations in June

A person is considered fully vaccinated 14 days or more after receiving the Johnson & Johnson shot or after the second dose of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has analyzed the state's COVID-19 data from the month of June 2021 and found that more than 90 percent of reported COVID-19 cases and deaths and 86 percent of hospitalizations were among individuals who were not fully vaccinated. The numbers from July 2021 are producing similar outcomes.

According to data received by DHEC from July 1-31:

  • 26,848 cases were reported among South Carolinians
  • Of the 14,262 reported cases where vaccine status of the individual was able to be determined, 12,491 (88%) were considered to be not fully vaccinated
  • Of the 550 reported cases of COVID-19 hospitalizations where vaccine status of the individual was able to be determined, 424 (77%) were considered to be not fully vaccinated
  • Of the 110 reported deaths from COVID-19 where the vaccination status of the individual was able to be determined, 87 (79%) were considered to be not fully vaccinated.

An individual is considered to be fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving the single dose Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine or the second shot of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. 

DHEC wants South Carolinians to note that getting vaccinated does not prevent you from getting the virus but the vaccination helps to prevent severe illness and death if the virus is contracted. Breakthrough cases occur with any type of vaccine.

Dr. Brannon Traxler, Public Health Director at DHEC, said -- in most cases -- people who have been vaccinated but still contract the coronavirus have no symptoms or very mild ones that clear up in a matter of days.

“Data still shows that vaccinations can end this pandemic if enough people are willing to roll up their sleeves,” Traxler added. “We are at the most crucial point yet in our fight against COVID-19. Our children are going back to school and more people are visiting businesses and attending large-scale events. We need everyone to unite for the same goal of stopping COVID-19 spread. That means getting vaccinated, wearing masks, and following other safety and health protocols.”

Vaccinations and testing is free throughout South Carolina for anyone age 12 and over (the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for those age 12 and over; the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for those 18 and older). Use the DHEC information page to find a clinic or site near you.