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McLeod Health opens new Myrtle Beach COVID-19 vaccine clinic; hospitals feeling demand

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McLeod Health vaccinated nearly 11,000 people last week with two events, one at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and the other at the Darlington Raceway. It is now opening a clinic at the Myrtle Beach Mall. Nick Masuda/Staff

MYRTLE BEACH — McLeod Health Seacoast announced that it will be opening a new COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Myrtle Beach Mall starting March 11, helping target the nearly 220,000 people who became eligible for the vaccine across Horry and Georgetown counties when Phase 1B went into effect on March 8.

The clinic will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 11-12, with no further dates confirmed due to unknown supply.

McLeod Health says it will be able to announce future days and times of the clinic as it receives vaccine allotment from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The clinic will be available to both those in Phase 1A and 1B, with the guaranteed second-dose appointments made at the time of the initial administration.

The Myrtle Beach Mall is located at 10177 Kings Highway, with the clinic located next to Belk via the main mall access point next to Books-A-Million.

McLeod Health Seacoast administered more than 6,500 COVID-19 vaccines last week.

“The intent is to vaccinate thousands of people in Horry County during the weeks ahead,” said Monica Vehige, McLeod Health Seacoast administrator.

Grand Strand demand

Tidelands Health and Conway Medical Center saw significant upticks in appointment requests as Phase 1B opened up to more than 2.7 people across South Carolina.

At Tidelands, it was able to use a large vaccine shipment last week to make its way through a significant portion of its Phase 1A backlog, allowing it to open the scheduling portal for Phase 1B on March 7.

Over the initial 24 hours, Tidelands had seen approximately 2,500 appointments made, according to Gayle Resetar, chief operating officer.

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Resetar also said that Tidelands’ operating procedure was also adjusted, focused on digital execution of appointments due to the demographics of Phase 1B being more comfortable with that method.

“It’s hard to manage the demand that’s there,” Resetar said. “With the 220,000 people that became eligible, that’s a lot of people at one time.”

At CMC, a single-day record was set with nearly 4,000 appointment requests, surpassing the previous mark of 3,800 set at the outset of vaccine appointments opening up for Phase 1A in mid-January.

CMC has been outspoken about its need for more supply, particularly as it is currently scheduling appointments into April.

DHEC has provided less than 50 percent of what CMC has requested throughout February and March.

The most recent requests also include plans to vaccinate teachers with Horry County Schools, Coastal Carolina University and Horry-Georgetown Technical College.

HCS will begin its inoculation process on March 12 with 500 teachers, while CCU and HGTC will move into next week, according to a CMC spokesperson.

Scheduling appointments

Here is how to set up an appointment with all three medical outlets:

Reach Nick Masuda at 843-607-0912. Follow him on Twitter at @nickmasudaphoto. 

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