MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – McLeod Health and the city of Myrtle Beach are partnering for a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic.
According to officials with McLeod Health, the healthcare provider found out they would receive 5,000 doses of the vaccine.
McLeod officials then contacted Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune about holding a vaccination clinic. Plans are for the event to take place at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, and administer between 4,000 and 5,000 vaccine doses.
McLeod is still coordinating dates with the convention center because it will also need to schedule a second dose clinic to follow this one.
The hospital system is still verifying if it will have the doses to handle both of those, but again, the clinic should be sometime in the next two to three weeks.
Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune had reached out to area hospitals about doing a mass vaccination clinic, so when McLeod found out it was getting a large shipment, the mayor was the first person to get a call.
“McLeod reached out right away and said we have some exciting news,” said Bethune. “We’re going to be able to get a large supply of the vaccine, let’s really work on this event. Immediately we put this meeting together today [Tuesday] to start working through those details.”
The hospital system has done clinics with anywhere from 250 to 1,800 doses, so this will be the largest by far.
“We figure the convention center is probably the best place in Horry County to do this number of people, so we will get the volunteers and the vaccinations from the state, but the city will provide support staff and the facility to do that,” said McLeod Health Seacoast Administrator Monica Vehige.
The partnership may include more than just the hospital and city of Myrtle Beach.
“We’re going to call in some community groups and we’re in talks with them on helping us support the personnel,” said Vehige. “We think it will take between 400 and 500 volunteers to pull off an event like this, but we know we have the community support to do it.”
Bethune is happy seniors in Myrtle Beach won’t have to travel too far to get their shots.
“We have so many people who are driving hours to get this vaccine, and that should not be the case,” said Bethune. “We need them to be able to stay right here at home. We want this to be as easy an event as possible for people so they can get in and out quickly.”
Vehige noted that instead of using McLeod Health’s voucher system, the hospital is working with DHEC on a registration system. It’s important to note that people can’t sign up for this event yet.
McLeod won’t open appointments for the clinic until a date is finalized.