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South Carolina Governor Gets First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

Gov. Henry McMaster receives first COVID-19 vaccine dose.
SC Governor Press
In a Twitter post Monday, April 19, 2021, Gov. Henry McMaster announced that he and first lady Peggy McMaster had received their first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine Monday morning, nearly four months after testing positive for the virus.

McMaster and first lady Peggy McMaster both got the first of two Pfizer doses at a CVS pharmacy in Columbia, South Carolina, according to a tweet from the governor's office.

“To those who want a shot, get your shot!” McMaster tweeted.

Both McMasters tested positive for the virus in December, days after attending a Christmas event at the White House. McMaster received a monoclonal antibody treatment after “experiencing mild symptoms with a cough and slight fatigue,” his office said at the time.

Based on his age alone, McMaster, 73, would have been eligible for the vaccine in February, when the state made the vaccine available to all residents ages 65 and older. All South Carolinians ages 16 and older have been eligible for the vaccine since March 31.

More than a quarter of eligible South Carolina residents have completed their vaccinations, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. That's still far from the 70 to 80 percent of the population that needs to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity, state public health officials say.

Vaccine providers across the state have administered shots to more than 1.6 million residents in total.

The state health department reported 577 confirmed COVID-19 cases Sunday and 14 additional deaths; the state has recorded 475,601 total cases and 8,222 deaths since the start of the outbreak last year.

Over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases has increased by 73.3, an increase of 8.4%, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University.

There were 275.5 new cases per 100,000 people in South Carolina over the past two weeks, which ranks 22nd in the country for new cases per capita. One in every 772 people in South Carolina tested positive in the past week.