Thousands get first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Myrtle Beach Convention Center

Updated: Mar. 2, 2021 at 11:19 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - McLeod Health held the first of two mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center on Tuesday.

Medical staff administered 2,500 first doses of the Moderna vaccine to people in Phase 1a of South Carolina’s vaccination plan.

Between Tuesday’s event and another one at the convention center on Wednesday, the hospital plans to vaccinate a total of 5,000 people in Phase 1a.

There were 40 vaccine stations set up inside the convention center and an area to observe patients after they were vaccinated for any potential side effects.

“To us it’s very important that all Americans have the opportunity to do this so we’re very pleased,” said Janet Burns, referring to her and her husband.

Horry-Georgetown Technical College nursing students, as well as the Myrtle Beach EMS, helped administer the shots.

Rosemary Tutrone, a retired nurse, said at first she was nervous to get vaccinated, but now believes people should consider getting the shot.

”I’ve looked at a lot of the information about the vaccine,” Tutrone said. “First, I was a little skeptical, but actually the advantages are a lot better than the disadvantages.”

The clinics are by appointment only and are fully booked.

However, there’s still space available for the drive-thru clinic at the Darlington Raceway on Friday.

To help put all allocated vaccines to use, McLeod received approval to open the event up to those in Phase 1b of the state’s vaccine plan.

Five thousand doses will be given during that event.

Moving forward, Monica Vehige, the administrator of McLeod Health Seacoast, said they’re working to designate centralized vaccination sites in Horry County and the Pee Dee as the demand for community vaccinations grow.

“We are looking a permanent location where we won’t have to do these mass events, but we can do something every day based on the number of vaccines we get in,” Vehige said.

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