Photo by the CDC on Unsplash

Staff reports | The state Department of Health and Environmental Control paused the rollout of a program that would digitize people’s vaccination records due to conservative fears it could be used to implement a “vaccine passport.” 

Public health officials have defended the program as a quality-of-life measure for those wanting easy access to their personal health records. Currently, South Carolina residents can only request paper copies of this information, which is stored on a statewide database. 

“We have unequivocally stood against even the idea of vaccine passports in our state since the very beginning of this pandemic,” S.C. Rep. Stewart Jones, R-Laurens, one of the Statehouse’s leading opponents of vaccine mandates, said in a March 2 press conference opposing the program.

State health officials said the program was in the works well before the COVID-19 pandemic and has nothing to do with implementing a “vaccine passport.” 

Latest COVID-19 data

South Carolina health officials on Friday reported 411 total new cases of COVID-19, with 308 confirmed, and 3 new deaths, all confirmed. 

With 10,599 test results reported Friday, 3.6% were confirmed positive, a dramatic drop in positivity rate seen in previous weeks. 

As of March 3, 461 COVID-19-positive individuals are hospitalized, 31.8% lower than last week. In addition, 48 COVID-19-positive individuals are ventilated, 27.3% lower than last week. 

  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 66.5%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 57.3%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 18.6%
  • Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 14.5%

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