COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported 15 new deaths Wednesday due to COVID-19, pushing the death toll in South Carolina pass the 10,000 mark.

DHEC Director Dr. Edward Simmer said there is only one way to prevent more lives from being lost, and that is through vaccination. 

According to DHEC, two million South Carolinians have been fully vaccinated. That number only represents 45 percent of South Carolinians eligible for the vaccine, and does not count all those aged 11-and-under who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.

Dr. Simmer said the vaccines are all safe, reliable and available. The vaccines work and are our best chance at preventing more infections, hospitalizations, and deaths.

To watch DHEC Director Dr. Edward Simmer’s Statement on South Carolina Surpassing 10,000 COVID-related Deaths, click here.