HORRY CO, S.C. (WBTW) – DHEC addressed the issue of Horry County Fire Rescue’s frustration over “miscommunication” with the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans on Friday.
An official with DHEC said the agency mistakenly informed HCFR they’d receive additional first doses of the vaccine. Senior Deputy for Public Health Nick Davidson said DHEC has no plans to provide more doses and he regrets saying earlier this week that HCFR would be getting them.
“I do regret the statement that we made to them earlier this week that they would be getting additional vaccines,” Davidson said. “So many providers ask us for more Moderna vaccine and we have not recently been able to provide them with any new doses of the vaccine.”
Horry County officials said in a statement on Thursday they had heard that HCFR was in good standing with the state’s vaccination program and it would receive its vaccine requests for the next delivery schedule. The county opened an appointment scheduling system, and 800 people who qualify under Phase 1A and 1B had signed up to receive the vaccine’s first dose.
“We remain frustrated by the lack of ability from SCDHEC to consistently communicate with vaccine providers in the state,” the county stated in a press release. “We are not alone, and we find it necessary to speak out. We have endeavored to work cooperatively with SCDHEC, but have been thwarted at every turn.”
Davidson the mistake was quickly clarified with HCFR.
Additional second doses are being shipped to HCFR so they can administer them to people they’ve given the first dose to, Davidson said. “I do understand they have determined going forward they will not be a community provider any longer,” he said. “If they change their mind and want to talk about being a community provider, we’d be happy to entertain the discussion.”
Horry County has 61 active vaccination sites in the county, according to DHEC. The loss of any particular one, on the smaller side, is not going to have a significant impact on residents, Davidson said.
The county said it has enough vaccines to give to those who have already signed up, and it urges those who have scheduled appointments to show up. Individuals who have received the first dose with Horry County will also receive a second dose from the county.