DHEC: South Carolina ranks 5th in nation for COVID-19 vaccine use

While millions of Americans wait for the COVID-19 vaccine, hospital board members, their...
While millions of Americans wait for the COVID-19 vaccine, hospital board members, their trustees and donors around the country have gotten early access to the scarce drug or offers for vaccinations, raising complaints about favoritism tainting decisions about who gets inoculated and when.(CNN)
Updated: Feb. 1, 2021 at 8:06 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina ranks 5th in the nation for how quickly the state is getting COVID-19 vaccine to people, according to state health officials.

Officials with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control cited the information from a national report from the Becker’s Hospital Review, a national healthcare information forum.

According to that report, South Carolina got its rank by using nearly 78 percent of the total doses of vaccine received in the state which is up 10 percent from last week.

“Our ultimate goal is to save lives,” said Marshall Taylor, DHEC Acting Director. “While the state’s current vaccine supply is less than demand, DHEC, in collaboration with Governor and our state partners, continues to work toward meeting our state’s shared vaccination goal—to get vaccine in South Carolinians arms quickly, safely, equitably, and ethically.”

According to DHEC, the Becker’s report uses data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide a uniform comparison of vaccine usage among states. It shows the rate at which doses are used based on the total number of shots given out of total doses received.

“In mid-January, the CDC had indicated South Carolina was among one of the slowest states for vaccine use based on a rate of doses distributed and shots given per 100,000, but that reporting failed to include the more than 200,000 doses South Carolina has dedicated in lump-sum to a statewide effort for vaccinating every long-term care facility resident and staff member in the state,” DHEC officials said. “The manner in which Becker’s report shows the rate of use is a much better way to report this information, especially when drawing comparisons between states.

“A week ago, South Carolina also ranked fifth in the nation for vaccine use and had a 68 percent utilization rate. Our state’s usage rate of giving vaccine continues to improve weekly with the help of our vaccine providers,” Taylor said. “Safe and effective vaccines and following public health guidance are how we win the fight against COVID-19.”

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