DHEC Analysis: 90% of COVID-19 cases, deaths in June among unvaccinated residents


COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – South Carolina’s lead health agency says more than 90% of COVID-19 cases and deaths in June were among those who are unvaccinated.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said analysis revealed an ‘overwhelming number’ of coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the first two weeks of June were connected to residents who were not fully vaccinated.

Health officials say they discovered similar results when looking at provisional data for the entire month.

From June 1-30:

 • 5,344 cases were reported
o 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
o 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
o Of those where vaccine status was able to be determined (n=21), 19 (90%) were considered not fully vaccinated.

“This data is further proof that vaccinations save lives,” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Public Health Director. “We can’t stress this enough: eligible residents should protect themselves and their loved ones by getting fully vaccinated. Full vaccination is achieved two weeks after a person gets their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or the single shot of Janssen. That two-week period is significant because it allows the vaccine to reach full efficacy, giving an individual the best chance to stave off the virus and its impacts if a breakthrough case occurs.”

South Carolina has had 542 breakthrough cases to date. While people who have been fully vaccinated can get COVID-19 infection, the illness is much less severe.

DHEC reported nearly 800 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday with three new virus-related deaths, with a percent positive of 12.1%.

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