COVID vaccine in the Carolinas: Comparing state’s vaccine rollout as more clinics appear

Coronavirus

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – While more vaccine clinics are opening for those 65 and older in North Carolina, health leaders in South Carolina told 7 News they already have more appointments than doses.

Busy is an understatement for what they’re dealing with at the Henderson County Department of Public Health.

“We had a thousand appointments last week and they got filled within a span of like seven hours,” said Communications Manager with the Henderson County Department of Public Health, Andrew Mundhenk.

They’re not expecting that to pause anytime soon.

“The Henderson County Health Department is going to open up vaccine appointments, about 700 appointments,” Mundhenk told 7 News.

That’s because they’re expanding their vaccine clinics to North Carolina residents 65 and over.

North Carolinians like Tagg Bowman already got the shot.

“The whole thing including a 15-minute wait period after the vaccination, took 45 minutes. I was amazed, it was excellent,” said North Carolina Resident, Tagg Bowman.

However, other states like the one just south of where Bowman lives, are working through a different demographic.

Vaccine distribution in South Carolina is currently slated for those 70 and older.

Health leaders told 7 News, there aren’t enough doses to expand the eligibility in the state.

“At this time, the flow of vaccine from the federal government is just not sufficient to meet the growing demand,” said Interim Director of Public Health with South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Dr. Brannon Traxler.

John Dyer sits in the eligible demographic in both states and he told us, he’ll likely get the shot soon. However, he said he isn’t in a huge rush.

“I don’t like to go out of the house anywhere far or South Carolina, Greenville I understand has some pretty bad cases right now,” North Carolina Resident, John Dyer told us.

Saundra Bryant falls in that bracket too but told us, she’s holding off for now.

“I’m going to see the first people, how they come out. I’m a little skeptic,” said North Carolina Resident, Saundra Bryant.

Health leaders in both states are calling on people to be patient with this vaccine rollout, especially when calling to schedule an appointment.

You can find additional details on the Henderson County vaccine clinics below, along with information from South Carolina’s state health department:

The Henderson County Public Health Department will begin taking COVID-19 appointments on Wednesday, Jan. 20 starting at 8:30 a.m. Please call 828-585-4700 starting Wednesday to make an appointment. Approximately 700 appointments will be scheduled based on available supply. The call center will open 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday as vaccine supplies are available. A recorded message will play once all available appointments have been booked.  

COVID-19 Vaccine Page: https://www.hendersoncountync.gov/health/page/covid-19-vaccines

Frequently Asked Questions: https://www.hendersoncountync.gov/health/page/covid-19-vaccine-frequently-asked-questions

SCDHEC:

https://scdhec.gov/news-releases/south-carolinians-aged-70-older-can-schedule-covid-19-vaccine-appointments-beginning

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