Dr. Danielle Scheurer of MUSC Health gets the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine | Photo via MUSC Health by Sarah Pack

Staff reports | The worst outbreak of COVID-19 in two years in China has reached almost every part of the country, stretching medical resources thin, shuttering businesses and manufacturing outlets and raising questions about the government’s staunch commitment to its zero-COVID policies. 

Health officials on Wednesday reported 3,054 domestic coronavirus cases, lower than the day before, when authorities posted the country’s largest daily toll since 2020 of 5,154 local infections, according to a report from The Washington Post.

In addition, Pfizer-BioNTech on Tuesday requested FDA authorization for a fourth COVID vaccine shot for people aged 65 and older. The request follows data from Israel during a recent outbreak of the omicron variant of COVID-19. A study of more than 1 million Israelis over 60 showed that those who got a fourth dose were half as likely to become infected and four-times less likely to become severely ill than those who had only three shots. 

Finally, rising COVID infection in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe could have impacts in the United States, according to a CNN report. Covid-19 cases were up 48% in the UK last week compared with the week before, and hospitalizations were up 17% over the same period. Health experts say it’s cause for attention, as the situation in the U.K. could be a preview of what may play out in the U.S.

Latest COVID-19 data

Meanwhile, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control transitioned to weekly reporting of new COVID data this week, with Tuesday’s update being the first of weekly reports including data taken from March 12-15.

South Carolina health officials on Tuesday reported 986 total new cases of COVID-19, with 510 confirmed, and 145 new deaths, 46 of which were confirmed. Reports were taken between March 12-15. As of March 13, 249 COVID-19-positive individuals are hospitalized, 32.5% lower than last week. In addition, 27 COVID-19-positive individuals are ventilated, 27% lower than last week. 

With 44,453 test results reported between March 12-15, 3.8% were confirmed positive.

  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 66.7%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 57.6%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 19.7%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 15.7%

For more information, visit the S.C. SCDHEC COVID-19 dashboard.

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