Pee Dee’s largest mass vaccination so far set for Darlington Raceway

Pee Dee

FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) — McLeod Health plans to get thousands of people vaccinated with a pair of vaccination events next week.

The hospital system has announced plans for clinics next Tuesday and Wednesday at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center and a drive through event next Friday at the Darlington Raceway. 5,000 doses are headed to each site.

“If you are racing to get the vaccine out, then what better place to do it than a racetrack,” raceway president Kerry Tharp said.

Patients will file through the racetrack tunnel and onto the infield, where they will get a shot at the racetrack cup garage.

Attendees won’t even have to leave their car during the biggest mass vaccination the Pee Dee has seen so far.

“Once they are in the car we can vaccinate them from there,” VP of Patient Services for McLeod Health Emily Adams said. “That’s a big deal to a lot of people that have mobility problems.”

McLeod Health has been allocated extra Moderna doses from the federal pharmaceutical stockpile.

“To be able to serve 5,000 people in one day– that’s a lot of bang for your buck,” Adams said. “It definitely makes it worth it.”

Hospital officials said their existing partnership with the racetrack was only one of the advantages of hosting a vaccination event there.

“They’re actually really comfortable and used to getting a lot of people in and out of the race track and they do it efficiently,” McLeod Regional Medical Center administrator Will McLeod said. “So the location of the racetrack makes a ton of sense.”

McLeod officials say everyone will be able to get a second dose during second dose appointments held at the same sites.

The hospital emphasized that it’s community effort.

“It’s going to be through the hard work of hundreds of individuals—volunteers, nurses, physicians, emergency management personnel,” hospital chief medical officer Dr. Jeremy Robertson said.

Darlington follows other sports facilities that have hosted vaccinations.

“I have spoken with leadership at other race tracks about this and try to get some insight on how they best did it,” Tharp said.

For more details on next week’s vaccinations, head to our initial story here.

You need an appointment to attend one of the events. Make one on this website or by calling 1-866-365-8110. Appointments for the March 2 and March 3 McLeod Health Myrtle Beach Convention Center vaccine event are now completely full as of Wednesday morning.

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