DARLINGTON, S.C. (WBTW) — Thousands got a shot Friday at the Pee Dee’s largest vaccination site so far.
McLeod Health partnered with the Darlington Raceway and many other organizations to get around 5,400 shots into arms. Governor McMaster even stopped by to commend their efforts.
“We have to get in a little over 500 every hour,” VP of Patient Services for McLeod Health Emily Adams said. “And we are on pace. We feel good about our pace even in the morning.”
Cars filed through the historic track starting bright and early. The event was booked ahead of time, thanks in part to a special exemption that allowed the hospital to begin administering to Phase 1B.
“I don’t mean to be dramatic,” Andrea Serra said through tears after getting a dose in her car. “But I get to live my life again. Because I have a congenital heart defect. I’ve been afraid of getting COVID.”
Darlington Raceway president Kerry Tharp, Congressman Tom Rice, McLeod officials, Governor Henry McMaster and others remarked at the progress made Friday.
“It’s this kind of attitude, this kind of willingness to work together and do something that’s never been done before that is going to make South Carolina an even better place to live, work and raise a family,” Governor McMaster said.
Around 1,000 Florence One Schools staff members were expected to get a dose of the vaccine Friday at the Raceway.
Ericha Floyd was in a car full of teachers from Clarendon County, which made a special trip.
“I’m really hoping we’re going to be able to get our kids back into school face to face and get some more hands on learning,” she said.
McLeod Health officials said it took days to prep the massive event.
“Just the amount of people we’re going to vaccinate today and the lives that will be saved from that, I haven’t seen anything to that scale,” Chief Medical Officer for McLeod Regional Medical Center Dr. Jeremy Robertson said.
A follow up event will get second doses of the Moderna vaccine out April 1.