North Myrtle Beach area residents say they’re frustrated with vaccine availability close to home

North Myrtle Beach pharmacies booked with COVID-19 vaccine appointments

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - COVID-19 vaccines are scarce nationwide and across South Carolina, but some North Myrtle Beach and Little River residents ask why they don’t have as many options near them.

“Okay, here we are all over again. Everybody in the South Strand is able to have access and we don’t,” said Shirley Shewchuk, a North Myrtle Beach resident.

She said she knows the vaccine is hard to come by for everyone. Shewchuk said when those who live in the South Strand can get it should be equally accessible for those in the North Strand.

“It’s Conway Medical Center, it’s Tidelands Health, and that’s the same places that did all the COVID testing,” she added.

Shewchuk said she and her husband typically see doctors at McLeod Health Seacoast, and said for many of her friends older than she is, a 45-50 minute drive to Murrells Inlet is too far.

Officials with McLeod said right now they don’t have the availability to vaccinate those ages 70 and over systemwide. They said they’ve used every single dose they’ve been given, and people should check back in the coming weeks.

North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley admitted availability is slim at nearby pharmacies around the city, but also said she’s in constant communication with state health officials.

“We must remember that this is all controlled by DHEC. The city will do all that we can to bring more vaccines but please remember that this is really out of our hands,” she added.

City officials also added many of their own frontline workers had to be vaccinated in Conway when McLeod Seacoast ran out.

Still, Shewchuk said, she knows even when more doses come, it won’t be instantly available for everyone.

“They just don’t have that ability to get in there several times a day and keep looking,” she said.

According to DHEC’s website, vaccines are available at Kroger and Publix locations in North Myrtle Beach, but like every other pharmacy in Horry County, appointments are booked.

DHEC’s website also shows both Marlboro and Dillon counties do not have any vaccines available.

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