The state of South Carolina is among America’s least vaccinated states, according to a report issued Monday morning by WalletHub. And no, this report is not just addressing vaccines for Covid-19 – which are the focus of a controversial new federal mandate. Instead, it addresses a variety of vaccines for “polio, tetanus, measles, chicken pox” and other diseases.
“Some states are better than others when it comes to vaccinating,” WalletHub’s Adam McCann wrote in previewing the seventeen key metrics his website used to examine “where people are most responsible about getting vaccines.”
These metrics ranged “from share of vaccinated children to share of people without health insurance to flu vaccination rate among adults,” according to an email accompanying the report.
How did the Palmetto State fare on this list? Not well.
According to the data, South Carolina ranked No. 42 overall – consistently scoring well below the national average in any number of these metrics.
While you can look at the overall rankings by scrolling on the map (above), a deeper dive into the data revealed some potentially distressing trends.
For example, South Carolina ranked No. 31 nationally for its influenza vaccination rate among children under the age of seventeen. The Palmetto State also ranked No. 31 nationally for its share of teenagers between the ages of 13-17 with an up-to-date human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination.
Among adults, vaccination rates were even worse. South Carolina ranked No. 34 nationally in terms of its adult influenza vaccination rate and No. 36 in terms of its adult tetanus vaccination.
As for the share of the state’s civilian, non-institutionalized population lacking health insurance coverage – South Carolina ranked No. 41 nationally.
When it comes to Covid-19 vaccinations, nearly 2.5 million South Carolinians over the age of twelve (58 percent of the eligible population) have received at least one vaccine dose while 2.1 million South Carolinians (49.1 percent of the eligible population) have “completed vaccination,” according to the latest data from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC).
Nationally, 73.8 percent of Americans over the age of twelve have gotten at least one jab, while 63 percent are “fully vaccinated,” according to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
South Carolina currently ranks No. 39 nationally in terms of the number of vaccinations administered per 100,000 citizens, according to CDC calculations.
DON’T MISS A STORY …
As I have often noted, I believe Covid-19 vaccines are safe for widespread use – and effective at reducing the risk of infection, hospitalization or death related to this virus. Accordingly, I have gotten both of my shots – and have encouraged my readers to get them as well.
Certainly vaccination is not 100 percent effective at stopping Covid-19 infections – nor is it 100 percent effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths tied to the virus and its attendant comorbidities.
Still, the vaccines work. And even though I have long-maintained that the threat of Covid-19 is nowhere near as dire as the mainstream media would have you believe it is, I do not understand why anyone would fail to take advantage of a safe, effective and freely available hedge of protection.
Having said that, “vaccine hesitancy” is clearly not what some would have you think it is. And even if it were, what business is it of ours to impose our beliefs on others?
Vaccination – for Covid-19 or anything else – is and must remain a personal choice. In fact, as I often note, “I can’t believe we are even debating the issue in what is supposed to be a free country.” If I have said it once, I have said it a hundred times: No one should lose their job because they decline to be vaccinated … and more importantly, no one should lose their job because government has decided to impose yet another round of draconian societal shutdowns in an effort to contain the spread of the virus’ latest variant.
Should you get your shots? Yes, you should. Everybody should. But should the government compel you or anyone else to do so? Hell no.
Stay tuned … my news outlet plans on providing an update soon on the very latest Covid-19 data in the Palmetto State (including additional insights related to the proposed federal vaccine mandates).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that St. Louis Cardinals’ bird lid pictured above).
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