CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Conway Medical Center currently has more COVID vaccine doses than it does employees.
The vaccine is not required, however officials strongly encourage all staff to get it.
On Tuesday, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported less than half of South Carolina’s vaccine allotment has been administered after the first two weeks.
“From a public health perspective, it is concerning,” said Angela Williford, Conway Medical Center’s vice president of quality.
Williford said some hospital staff are hesitant and have denied the vaccine, similar to many hospitals across the country.
“I think we have some staff who were concerned that if they got their vaccine before Christmas that they might feel ill,” Williford said. “I think the timing of when we started receiving vaccines is having an impact on how quickly people are rushing to get vaccinated.”
To ensure no dose goes to waste, Conway Medical Center sought DHEC’s approval to expand vaccinations outside of hospital walls.
Doses are being given to local physicians, dentists, and their employees who fall under Phase I A of the state’s rollout plan.
CMC has administered 1,100 vaccines for both internal and external staff so far.
“We felt like it was important to keep pushing forward and as long as we have vaccine available, we want to get it into people’s arms,” Williford said.
Hospital officials have asked DHEC when the hospital could to move to Phase I B of the state’s plan, as they are prepared for the next step.
“Obviously we don’t have enough vaccine at this point to vaccinate everyone that will be in phase one B, but we have to start somewhere,” Williford said.