MUSC Health Florence hosts COVID-19 vaccination drive at the Florence Center

MUSC Health Florence hosts first-ever drive-up COVID-19 vaccination event

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - MUSC Health Florence held its first-ever COVID-19 drive-up vaccination event on Monday at the Florence Center.

“MUSC Health is kind of the hospital of South Carolina, kind of the state’s hospital, so we feel like it’s our obligation to do something like this,” said MUSC Health Florence COO Kyle Baxter.

Drivers were lined up bumper to bumper throughout the day. Those who lined up for a vaccine had scheduled an appointment before the event.

Just like many festivals, concerts and carnivals, the Florence Center had no trouble facilitating the event.

“They do this all the time, so they’re the experts in all of this, Paul Beard and Chastity Wilson with the Florence Center, they’ve been awesome and we couldn’t have done it without them,” said Baxter.

Baxter said on average the hospital provides roughly 100 to 200 vaccines a day between MUSC Health Florence and Marion.

In one drive-thru event, they were able to vaccinate nearly 1,500 people.

“We just feel like we need to accelerate everything, and so our challenge today is to meet that challenge, and obviously there is a lot of demand for it which is great,” said Baxter.

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Baxter is already seeing the impact, as many people no longer have to wait for the vaccine.

“In a 30 day period we have nearly 3,500 people waiting, so to cut half of a month’s wait on one day is a huge win and good for the Pee Dee,” said Baxter.

Baxter said we’ve got to speed up the process, and he believes mass vaccination sites are the way to go.

“We’re hoping for some light at the end of the tunnel here, and we recognize if we’re doing 150 or 200 a day it’s going to take years to get this done, so we’ve got to move faster,” said Baxter.

MUSC Health Florence and Marion are still taking vaccination appointments. You can schedule an appointment at muschealth.org

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