BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Beaufort Memorial Hospital held a mass vaccination drive-thru event today at the Okatie Medical Pavilion for people whose appointments were cancelled due to the vaccination shortage a few weeks ago.
“Four lines registering, four lines vaccinating and then a observation lot to observe people post-vaccine,” said Russell Baxley, President and CEO of Beaufort Memorial Hospital.
This was the line of cars as volunteers verified peoples’ appointments and waved them on to get their vaccines.
“Fifteen minutes and we’re in and out,” said Chris Dedel, who received a vaccine.
In the first few hours of the event, Baxley says nearly 1,300 people were vaccinated. The goal, he says, was to vaccinate 1,500 people.
“Joy, relief, hope. I mean that’s what everyone’s coming here for today and we’re just happy to play a small part in some of that,” said Baxley.
Earlier this month, Beaufort Memorial had to cancel thousands of COVID-19 vaccination appointments after the hospital didn’t receive their expected shipments.
“We were scheduled out through March 30. So when we said cancelled it was more cancelled to reschedule, but now we’re way ahead of where we were and we’re happy for it,” said Baxley.
Chris Dedel says getting the notification that she could get vaccinated meant so much.
“Oh, it was so exciting,” said Dedel. “I kept checking email everyday to see if they would get more and I hit yes as soon as I could.”
Hospital officials say this is the third mass vaccination event they’ve held over the last week.
“I’m so thankful and happy to be here and I hate shots and it was painless,” said Dedel.
The event will be repeated in the next couple of weeks to give each recipient their second dose.
“The only thing we can schedule at this point without getting the vaccine in hand are the second doses. As we get the vaccines or confirmation of the vaccines, the week prior we start calling people for the next week and say ‘hey we’d like to get schedule an appointment for you to get your vaccine,” said Baxley.
Baxley says there are more people waiting to be scheduled and their goal is to get them scheduled next week or the week after.