SC’s vaccination rate increases as COVID cases continue to surge

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COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — As the numbers of COVID-19 cases continues to climb, state health officials said there has been a slight uptick in daily COVID-19 vaccinations.

According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s (DHEC) COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, the 7-day moving average is at 5,206 shots per day. Back in early July, the moving average was just above 3,000 shots a day.

DHEC’s data shows more than 8,500 first doses were administered on July 30 in South Carolina. The most first doses administered in the Palmetto State since May 21.

DHEC Medical Consultant Dr. Jonathan Knoche said it’s difficult to pinpoint what’s driving the increase. “We hope it’s because people have done more research or they’ve noticed there’s an uptick in cases in their family and community and they have decided to protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated,” he said.

Dr. Knoche said historically, when there are outbreaks of other vaccination preventable diseases like measles, people get vaccinated in response.

South Carolina health officials reported more than 2,000 cases of COVID-19 Wednesday.

DHEC said hospitalizations are also up. According to Dr. Knoche, the majority of those who are seriously ill or in the hospital are unvaccinated South Carolinians. He urged anyone who hasn’t gotten the vaccine to get it as the Delta variant spreads.

“The Delta variant is more transmissible than SARS, MERS, Ebola, the 1918 Spanish flu, the common cold, and smallpox,” Dr. Knoche said.

As of Wednesday, 44% of South Carolinians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

DHEC is also seeing an increase in testing demand. Dr. Knoche said state health leaders are prepared to increase testing capacity if necessary. “We are monitoring the situation and seeing if there are any shortcomings but we feel comfortable with the testing availability that is out there,” he said.

According to DHEC, more than 20,000 COVID-19 tests were completed in South Carolina Sunday.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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