Grand Strand area hospitals react to Biden’s vaccine administration timeline

Grand Strand area hospitals react to Biden’s vaccine administration timeline

MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) - With a new goal from President Joe Biden to have states open up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults by May 1, an official with Tidelands Health thinks the hospital is well on its way to making this a reality.

South Carolina is currently in the process of vaccinating thousands of people in Phase 1B each day. It’s the most expansive phase so far.

But hospital leaders are looking ahead to Phase 1C and then eventually Phase 2; when every adult becomes eligible.

“Giving people a date to be eligible, might encourage them to go ahead and be ready,” said Gayle Resetar, Chief Operating Officer of Tidelands Health. “It’s encouraging for the community to keep moving forward. We certainly want there to be a really safe summer.”

A week and a half into Phase 1B, Resetar said Tidelands is making great progress, vaccinating around a thousand people each day in their clinics. She added that the plan Biden put forward is panning out.

DHEC announced its latest timeline just days before the president announced the May 1 goal.

Starting April 12, DHEC wants to open up appointments to those in Phase 1C, which includes people 45 and older along with more essential workers

Then on May 3, just days after the president’s goal date, the agency says it wants anyone else not vaccinated yet to sign up.

During Thursday’s news briefing, DHEC officials said they think they’re still on track, but the dates could slide around.

Officials from Conway Medical Center say they have a waitlist until mid-April, and just hope they continue receiving a regular supply.

Still, Resetar wants to remind people to wait for their turn. She says when everyone becomes eligible in May, those in earlier phases will likely still have lingering appointments and shouldn’t expect to get their shot the same week.

“We’re not going to get everything done. We won’t have finished any one of those categories.”

If you are eligible and would like to try to make an appointment with Tidelands Health, click here.

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