Grand Strand hospitals see increase in vaccinations

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in South Carolina and all over the nation, data shows vaccination rates are going back up across the Grand Strand.

Last Monday, Conway Medical Center gave 93 shots and 74 on Wednesday. Doctors say many people are rethinking their decision to hold off on getting vaccinated due to the delta variant. Dr. Paul Richardson, Chief Medical Officer for Conway Medical Center, said the hospital has given close to 55,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and has seen no severe side effects in patients.

“The science has been around for quite sometime. I have my own friends who have told me this is a brand new vaccine and it was rushed. While this is a new vaccine, technically the science in which it was built on has actually been around for 20 to 25 years so that is really not true,” Dr. Richardson said.

Dr. Gerald Harmon with Tidelands Health said during the first week of July, the center gave 168 doses of the vaccine. Just a few weeks later, that number tripled to more than 430 shots.

Dr. Harmon said people who are vaccinated can get infected but they likely won’t end up in the hospital.

“They have mild cold symptoms such as a runny nose, sneezing, and cough. They don’t get hospitalized and they don’t die. We are really pushed. We are pushed to our resources in utilizing. We have 42 in-patients today with COVID-19. Our best weapon is not to get into that hospital system. Our best weapon is to keep those folks from getting sick and the vaccine is the way to do it.” Dr. Harmon said.

Dr. Harmon added the most common side effect of the vaccine is a sore arm. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is available for children 12 and up. For more information on how to get vaccinated with Tidelands Health, click here.

To get vaccinated with Conway Medical Center, click here.

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