Horry County is ‘frustrated’ with DHEC after hearing it won’t receive more first-dose COVID-19 vaccines

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County will not receive more first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine after “miscommunication” among South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control officials, the county announced on Thursday.

“We remain frustrated by the lack of ability from SCDHEC to consistently communicate with vaccine providers in the state,” a press release reads. “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.”

The county said it had heard that Horry County Fire Rescue was in good standing with the state’s vaccination program and it would receive its vaccine requests for the next delivery schedule. It had 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.

“Yesterday night, a representative of SCDHEC denied that the order for additional first doses would be placed citing ‘miscommunication’ between SCDHEC officials,” the press release reads. “Despite indicating their commitment to making sure everyone who received a first dose would receive a second dose in future shipments, Horry County Fire Rescue has not received a shipment of vaccine from SCDHEC since February 12, 2021.”

The county said it has enough vaccines to give to those who have already signed up, and it urges those who have to go to their appointments. Individuals who have received the first dose with Horry County will also receive a second dose from the county.

Its first dose appointments last until April 6. After second doses are honored, it’ll end its vaccination program.

In late February, DHEC said it would not give more doses to Horry County Fire Rescue for at least the immediate future. The decision came after it said that Horry County Fire Rescue allowed ineligible county employees to get vaccinated. County employees were also able to grant a “designee” to receive the vaccine, with an emphasis on those who met the Phase 1A requirements.

The county responded by stating that DHEC mismanaged and miscommunicated with it early in the vaccine distributing process, and that the state had previously approved the county’s vaccination plan.

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