State health officials on Friday reported that another 1,196 Beaufort County residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
About 38.5% of county residents who are 15 or older have now received a shot, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, and 61.4% of residents have yet to get a dose.
Coronavirus spread, meanwhile, remains low after a winter surge, though health experts are concerned that the United States could face a fourth wave of infections.
DHEC data show that daily case counts in South Carolina began to plateau about three weeks ago.
Eleven new coronavirus cases and 14 probable infections were reported in Beaufort County on Friday. No new deaths were announced.
Jasper County recorded two probable cases and no deaths Friday.
COVID-19 inoculation rate for Beaufort County residents as of Wednesday (the most recent date for which data are available): 3,851 vaccine recipients per 10,000 residents. That’s the fifth-highest rate in South Carolina, though it could be inflated to some degree due to a ZIP code-level data issue.
ZIP code data
Bluffton’s ZIP code of 29910 now leads the county with 13,317 vaccinations since late last year. Okatie’s 29909 ZIP code, which includes Sun City Hilton Head, has recorded 12,273 resident inoculations, which is the second-highest figure in the county (though that may be an overcount).
Hilton Head Island’s 29926 ZIP code, covering the north side, has 10,040 vaccinations. The 29928 ZIP code, covering the southeastern part of the island, has 8,244 vaccinations, according to DHEC.
Beaufort’s 29902 ZIP code has reported 4,180 inoculations.
DHEC releases most of its coronavirus vaccine data based on residency. If a Beaufort County resident is vaccinated out of state or in a different S.C. county, they would still be counted in DHEC’s Beaufort County-specific ZIP code data.
More information on ZIP code-level vaccine data can be found at the following link online: http://bit.ly/BeaufortCountyVaccines
Virus spread in Beaufort County
Two-week cumulative incidence rate as of Wednesday: 89 cases per 100,000 people, a “moderate” rate under DHEC’s definition. An incidence rate measures how quickly a disease is spreading through a given population.
Dr. Scott Curry, an infectious disease specialist at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, has previously said counties should aim to have a two-week incidence rate of less than 50 new cases per 100,000 people.
BEHIND OUR REPORTING How we covered this story
Facts about COVID-19 vaccine distribution in South Carolina are changing rapidly. The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette are trying to publish important information as quickly and accurately as possible. This story may be updated if more information becomes available or if facts become clearer.
Sam Ogozalek is a reporter at The Island Packet covering COVID-19 recovery efforts. He is also a Report for America corps member. He recently graduated from Syracuse University and has written for the Tampa Bay Times, The Buffalo News and the Naples Daily News.