Thousands on the Grand Strand remain on COVID vaccine waitlist

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MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WBTW) — Over 80,000 coronavirus vaccine doses have been administered in the Grand Strand according to South Carolina DHEC but thousands of people remain on waitlists.

The high demand for the COVID vaccine is a good sign according to health officials. Because of the high demand, hospitals like Tidelands Health and Conway Medical Center have offered waitlists where those who want the vaccine will be notified when an appointment becomes available.

“There was a huge demand right at the beginning and a big bump in our numbers and how many people were signing up,” Allyson Floyd with CMC said. She told News13 that people continue to sign up daily.

Floyd also added that over 30,000 people were on the waitlist nearly two weeks ago. As of Monday, CMC has gotten the list down to around 15,000.

“We have made the appointments going forward being able to do 450 to 500 a day and that has worked,” Floyd explained. “We have not had to cancel any appointments,” she added.

As local hospitals hope to avoid cancellations, scheduling appointments depends on the number of weekly vaccine shipments.

“We’ve been pushing the schedule towards the later part of the week to try to avoid the shipping delays that might happen on Monday or Tuesday,” said Gayle Resetar, COO of Tidelands Health.

She told News13 there are about 9,800 people on the waitlist there and nearly half of them still not scheduled for an appointment.

Tidelands Health is vaccinating 1,000 to 2,000 people every week, according to Resetar. But she believes they could be doing a lot more vaccinations.

“The only variable that matters or that’s affecting how many we’re doing a week is how many are showing up in the mail,” Resetar said. And CMC also wants to do more vaccinations.

“We’re not receiving enough supply to be able to expand into other locations and provide more clinics,” Floyd told News13.

Grand Strand Medical Center told News13 that it didn’t get a shipment of vaccines last week which means no appointments are being made until the hospital receives more doses.

These hospitals tell News13 they want to vaccinate more people but they also want to avoid confusion that would come with cancellations.

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