Grand Strand hospitals see high demand in Phase 1b vaccine appointment requests

Updated: Mar. 8, 2021 at 11:32 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) - With most of the state’s population now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, hospitals along the Grand Strand were flooded with Phase 1B appointment requests on Monday.

“We knew that today was going to be a really high demand day from messaging to phone calls to attempting to get through the phone line,” Tidelands Health’s Chief Operating Officer Gayle Resetar said.

Since opening appointments on Sunday, the hospital scheduled more than 2,500 appointments. Most of them for Phase 1B.

Resetar said last week they received 2,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine that were unused by long-term-care facilities.

This allows them to vaccinate those remaining on the Phase 1a waitlist, as well as some in Phase 1b.

“We got substantially down that waitlist to the point we felt really comfortable beginning to open up appointments to 1b this week,” Resetar said.

Conway Medical Center opened appointments for Phase 1b at midnight on Monday. As of 5 p.m., they’ve received nearly 4,000 requests.

Allyson Floyd with CMC said Monday was the largest single-day appointment for hospital requests since 70+ vaccinations opened in January.

They hired 20 schedulers to help with bookings.

“I mean since January 13th, we’ve had more than 50,000 appointment requests,” Floyd said. “That’s a lot of people for the schedulers to get through and to contact.”

However, scarce vaccine supply remains an issue.

As CMC prepares to vaccinate Horry County School employees this weekend, Floyd said they didn’t get the number of doses they hoped for this week.

“We had requested five trays of first doses and received two and so we desperately need that supply to meet the demand,” she said.

For those of you still waiting to book appointments, healthcare officials ask for patience as they work to make sure anyone who wants a dose, will get one.

“We want to do as many people as we can, as fast as we can, but there is a limitation on what any location can do at any one time,” Resetar said.

“The fact that people are willing and wanting to get the vaccine is a really good thing and we want to give it to you,” Floyd said.

Tidelands Health said it expects to administer 6,100 first doses this week to people in both Phase 1a and 1b.

Copyright 2021 WMBF. All rights reserved.