Organizers were pleased after the first of three drive-through COVID 19 vaccination clinics was held on Wednesday.
Medical University of South Carolina was the provider for Wednesday's clinic.
"Today was an indicator of how successful we were in planning," said Steve Akers, emergency management director. "The biggest issue was getting the word out to folks, getting folks to sign up and trust the vaccine."
Officials were pleased with how well things went.
The drive-through was set up with two large tents, which allowed for three cars in each tent. Cars were serviced from both sides. Once done, those vaccinated were routed to an observation area where they sat for 15 minutes. EMS was on site in case of any side effects or negative reactions to the dose.
For the last few weeks, county officials and local leaders have worked together on a series of Zoom meetings to get doses of the COVID-19 vaccines in the county.
The MGH Charity Trust and Marlboro County Government organized the three clinics to provide support for any provider willing to vaccinate Marlboro County citizens.
Munnerlyn said it was a very streamlined process developed by Akers and others.
The original goal was to vaccinate 1,500 people in three days.
County officials discovered they had fallen through the cracks on not having a hospital and being able to secure vaccines.
Munnerlyn said county staff and council mobilized to do what they could to make sure they had vaccination opportunities for people here. The Marlboro Hospital Charity Trust partnered with the county.
He added support for the vaccination clinics included tents, volunteer nurses, EMS, traffic control and more. Other partners such as Marlboro County School District, S.C. National Guard, SC DOT, NETC, and Francis Marion University joined in the effort.
Munnerlyn noted the first challenge was getting the vaccines here with the next making sure people knew about the clinics.
“Now, we have to get folks to trust us that this is a good thing and we need to take the vaccine so we can resume some sort of normal living here,” he said.
Munnerlyn added that they have proven to providers that if someone has the doses then we can put together a team to do even more than we are doing today. This is moving along great.
Akers and Munnerlyn encouraged people to be vaccinated. Both of them have had their shots. Akers said he had no issues either. Munnerlyn said he had very minor side effects. It was not much different than a flu shot.
On Thursday, the clinic will be provided by Scotland Health System.
McLeod Health will be giving second doses on Friday to those who were vaccinated at the Bennettsville Community Center on January 29.
McLeod officials said they will administer second doses mainly but will begin offering some of the limited first doses at 11 a.m. until they run out. They cannot make appointments at this point so the first doses are all first-come, first-serve.
Scotland Health follows the North Carolina guidelines and will work to vaccinate those eligible in Group 3 beginning Wednesday, Feb. 24, who are essential workers who work in the school systems and childcare settings.
This includes teachers, bus and van drivers, custodial and maintenance staff, food service workers, staff in child care centers and homes, Head Start Programs, Preschool and PreK programs, traditional public schools, charter schools, and private schools.
You do not have to live in North Carolina to be included.
North Carolina plans to move to additional frontline essential workers on March 10 for the remainder of Group 3. To schedule an appointment, call 910-291-7654.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has launched a new online resource providing information about the age group, gender, race, and ethnicity of those who have received COVID-19 vaccines in South Carolina.
It is available by clicking the Vaccination dashboard button at https://scdhec.gov/covid19. It is based on where a person was vaccinated, not where the person lives.
About one-fifth of the state's population is currently eligible to receive their shots: roughly 1.3 million people are within Phase 1a and the state's total population is roughly 5.2 million.
As of Wednesday, 689,188 doses have been given in the state with 519,299 people vaccinated. In Marlboro County, 1,030 have been vaccinated.
Other Vaccine locations
CareSouth Carolina is now scheduling appointments to administer vaccines to those in Phase 1A and ages 65 and over. You do not need to be a patient of CareSouth Carolina. Walk-ins are not allowed at this time.
To make an appointment, you will need to contact one of the offices below by phone to schedule a day and time.
Vaccine locations and schedule are as follows:
— Monday, February 15: CareSouth Carolina Bishopville (545 Sumter Hwy, Bishopville) at 803-484-5317.
— Tuesday, February 16: CareSouth Carolina McColl Health & Wellness Center (3080 Highway 15-401 E, McColl) at 843-523-5751 and CareSouth Carolina Chesterfield (204 Perry Wiley Way, Chesterfield) at 843-623-5080.
—Wednesday, February 17: CareSouth Carolina Hartsville (1268 South Fourth St, Hartsville) at 843-332-3422 and CareSouth Carolina Latta (122 Latimer Street, Latta) at 843-627-6252.
—Thursday, February 18: CareSouth Carolina McColl Health & Wellness Center (3080 Highway 15-401 E, McColl) at 843-523-5751.
—Friday, February 19: CareSouth Carolina Chesterfield (204 Perry Wiley Way, Chesterfield) at 843-623-5080 and CareSouth Carolina Latta (122 Latimer Street, Latta) at 843-627-6252.