Grand Strand hospitals prepare to administer booster shots once fully vaccinated adults are eligible

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Hospitals across the Grand Strand are preparing to offer COVID-19 booster shots to fully vaccinated adults. They started offering booster shots last week to immunocompromised people.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer and Moderna shots for immunocompromised people. This week, the FDA approved the Pfizer vaccine for those 16 and older.

Conway Medical Center’s Dr. Paul Richardson said the hospital has seen a great number of immunocompromised people coming in to get their booster shots. Just last week, CMC said it gave about 350 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and 200 of those were third doses.

President Biden is calling on the FDA to authorize booster shots to all fully vaccinated people with a proposed start date of September 20. Fully vaccinated people would be eligible eight months after their second dose. Dr. Richardson said CMC is keeping a close eye on this update.

“The criteria for it right now is fairly narrow although my understanding is within the next few weeks, we are going to greatly broaden that criteria out so we will know if we are getting more busy and we will ramp up as we need to. The vaccine supply looks good and it will be holding up very well so that is a good thing,” Dr. Richardson said.

Medical experts at Tidelands Health said they want to administer a higher number of vaccinations and are already looking into larger sites for vaccinations.

Director of Operations with Tidelands Health, Jason Self said more than 1300 vaccines were administered last week. That’s including first, second doses and 431 boosters. Overall, the hospital has administered more than 80,000 doses of the vaccine.

Tidelands Health administered the booster shot last week to immunocompromised people. For now, fully vaccinated adults will need to wait until they are eligible for a booster.

“We would like to continue to do them as a walk-in basis at our sites rather than going back to scheduling because scheduling did take a lot of resources and man power to do. We are looking at much larger venues and some of the ones we’ve looked into the past to possibly move up our operations once we go through the peak of doing the third shot boosters,” Self said.

Tidelands Health added it wants to hire staff to assist in administering the coronavirus vaccine and boosters.
If you would like to learn more on how to apply for the position with Tidelands Health, click here.

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