Health officials see high demand for kids’ vaccinations in Horry County

Grand Strand

CAROLINA FOREST, S.C. (WBTW) — There has been a high demand in the News13 viewing area for parents looking to get their children vaccinated against COVID-19, health officials say.

On Monday, Horry County Schools and Conway Medical Center announced that free vaccinations would be held at schools on Tuesday and Wednesday for children 5 or older.

After a clinic held on Tuesday ran out of the shots, several parents brought their children back to an after-hours clinic on Wednesday.

Officials with Conway Medical Center say the demand for kids ages 5 to 11 to get vaccinated is fairly low outside of community clinics. Clinics held later in the evening, from 4 to 7 p.m., are more convenient, they said.

When Victoria Stanley first found out that her two girls were eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine she was nervous.

“It was always that fear – because it’s my kids – of what’s in the vaccine and how it’s going to react with them and different things,” Stanley said.

But she talked with her doctors before taking that step toward protection.

“I want them to have a normal childhood,” she said. “I want them to have a normal school year.”

The mother of two hoped to get her girls vaccinated at Tuesday’s clinic, only to find the clinic had given out all of its doses.

“Which my kids enjoyed because they were scared to get it,” she said. “But it was disheartening because I wanted them to get vaccinated yesterday. We had set time aside to do it.”

It was an unexpected, high demand for pediatric vaccinations that may speak to the importance of vaccination accessibility.

“The demand for the vaccines have not been what we thought they would be at our pediatric clinics,” Kim Hunsucker, a family nurse practitioner with CMC, said. “Therefore, we as an organization decided to provide to the parents to bring their children out to an after-hour clinic.”

Hunsucker said the recent clinics have reached more families. As of now, Tidelands Health and Conway Medical are the only health care systems offering the COVID shot to kids 5 to 11 years old at doctor’s offices and clinics.

“Whenever we’re asking parents to take off work or children out of school, you’re going to have less of a response,” Hunsucker said.

She said more than 200 students were vaccinated during Tuesday clinics and one that was held on Saturday. A sign of protection she hopes to see continue with Horry County Schools.

However, Horry County Schools says there are no other vaccine clinics planned at this time.

As for Stanley, she plans to get her kids vaccinated Wednesday at one of the clinics.

Tidelands Health will host a vaccine clinic for those 5 or older from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday at its medical park on Holmestown Road. The clinic will also be at there at the same time on Dec. 2 and Dec. 9.

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