Sep. 16—South Carolina reached a milestone Thursday in its quest to get as many residents vaccinated against COVID-19 as possible.
The Palmetto State has officially reached a 50% vaccination rate among eligible residents, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.
In July, the agency announced that 50% of residents had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Today's milestone of 50% being completely vaccinated is more significant, DHEC said, as it puts South Carolina that much closer to the 70-80% vaccination goal.
Almost 58% of South Carolinians have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
Aiken County's vaccination is slightly below the state's, with around 53% of residents having received at least one dose of the vaccine and 43.6% of residents being fully vaccinated, as of Sept. 16.
"Reaching this 50% benchmark is a testament to the countless hours DHEC and partner staff have put into putting these life-saving doses into arms," said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC director. "It's also indicative of our outreach efforts, work with local and state leaders, and so many others who understand how important vaccination is to ending this pandemic. That said, the mission is not over because the pandemic is not over. We need more South Carolinians to step up and get vaccinated so we can stamp COVID out once and for all."
"We've reached an important milestone with over 50% of eligible South Carolinians making the decision to get vaccinated, but the reemergence of the virus shows that we have more work to do," said Gov. Henry McMaster. "Ultimately, the decision to get vaccinated or not is a personal one, but I would ask every South Carolinian to consult your doctor and speak with trusted family and friends in order to make the most educated decision possible.
"Two things are clear — the most effective way to protect ourselves from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated, and the vaccine is readily available in every part of the state. If you decide to get vaccinated after thoughtful consideration of all the facts, now is the time to do it."
DHEC will continue its efforts to get residents vaccinated through various outreach efforts and events, including vaccination opportunities at the University of South Carolina and Clemson University home football games.
Residents who wish to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment can visit vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov to find a location near them.