COLUMBIA, SC – DHEC said Thursday that South Carolina marked two historical milestones this week: more than two million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the state, and everyone 16 and older is now eligible to get their shot.
As of Thursday, a total of 2,034,077 doses have been given statewide, and 1,289,672 South Carolina residents have been given at least one dose of vaccine.
“Having the COVID-19 vaccine reach the two million mark is a giant step toward ending this pandemic in South Carolina,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director, in a news release “We’re grateful to our local leaders, providers, and community partners for their efforts to get shots into arms as quickly as possible. They’ve not only helped our state achieve this two-million-dose milestone, but they’ve also allowed us to open up vaccines to all South Carolinians 16 and older much faster that we initially anticipated. Now we need to continue this great effort until every South Carolinian has had an opportunity to receive the vaccine.”
While vaccine doses remain somewhat limited, DHEC said South Carolina and other states are seeing an uptick in the number of doses they’re receiving from the federal government. All three vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen — are available to those aged 18 and older, and, currently, Pfizer is the only vaccine available to teens age 16 to 18. DHEC is urging adults not to wait for appointments to open for a specific brand, but to take whatever is first available.
“Our new message, loud and clear, is ‘don’t wait – vaccinate,’” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Interim Public Health Director, in the news release. “While you may not be able to get your shot right away, we urge everyone to continue searching for an appointment. Providers are working to open as many appointments as quickly as possible based on their inventory, and appointment availability will vary each week. For everyone 16 and older: it’s your turn to help us put a stop to COVID-19.”
So far, 31.4 percent of South Carolinians have received at least one shot, and 17.1 percent are considered fully vaccinated. DHEC says that certain public health recommendations, like masks and physical distancing, can begin to be relaxed once 70 to 80 percent of the population is vaccinated At that time, "herd immunity" will be reached. Until then, DHEC sid here's what you can do once you’ve been fully vaccinated.
To find a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, visit DHEC’s vaccine locator map or call your provider directly to ask about appointment availability. For the latest COVID-19 vaccine information, visit scdhec.gov/vaxfacts.