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‘He can’t leave the house’: Summerville mother struggles to find son an at-home vaccination

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 8:49 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2021 at 8:50 PM EDT
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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Getting a vaccine at any pharmacy is not as easy as it sounds for Kimberly Lewis and her son. Lewis says 17-year old Dustin has obsessive compulsive disorder, meaning that he won’t leave to get the shot but the shot needs to come to him.

“He has not left our house, nor has he been in a car since March of 2020,” Lewis said. “And so, we have not been able to get him vaccinated because he cannot leave the house.”

Lewis says she calls DHEC about their homebound vaccine program, waiting weeks in between calls. A news release about the program says that it’s running until December, but Lewis says she got her hopes up for no reason.

“I called thinking ‘this is it.’ It wasn’t it,” Lewis said.

DHEC officials tell Live 5 that they terminated contracts with their previous vaccine suppliers, H&M Labs and Welcome Pharmacy, due to underperforming. Lewis didn’t find this out until a month and a half after it happened, so she continued to wait for answers.

“So, I’ve called DHEC 5 or 6 times, and I keep getting ‘Oh, you’ll hear from us. You’ll hear from us,’ and I never do. At this point I’m kind of defeated. My hopes are just drained,” she said.

Lewis says she has also tried South Carolina House Calls, who tell Live 5 they are out vaccines entirely. Lewis says she still won’t get her hopes up.

DHEC says they will be entering contracts with two new suppliers, who should be ready to bring Dustin the shot by the end of October.

“I’ve got a phone number, and I’m gonna keep calling until I get somebody out there to vaccinate him,” Lewis said.

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