Health care workers begin receiving COVID-19 vaccine at Beaufort Memorial

Health care workers begin receiving COVID-19 vaccine at Beaufort Memorial

BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Some frontline health care workers in Beaufort County have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The hospital says they received their vaccine allotment from DHEC last week and received even more directly from Pfizer on Monday. Hospital officials say if they continue to get shipments, they should have all their staff members vaccinated in the next few weeks

“We are starting our first wave of COVID-19 vaccinations today,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kurt Gambla said.

“Our goal is to get everyone covered in phase 1A for our employees,” CEO Russel Baxley said.

Beaufort Memorial gave health care workers their first COVID-19 vaccine Monday.

“So, today, this will be our first wave. So, highest risk providers. Doctors, nurses, and some housekeeping and other areas that are in very direct or close to direct with patient contact.”

The hospital has received about 1,200 doses so far. They want to work quickly.

“Today, we are going to do about 100. That group altogether is over 1,000 but the first day we will do about 110 or so.”

“In three days, I would hope we can get close to 600 vaccinated.”

They think at this rate they will be able to move to the next phase quickly.

“We figure over about the next 2 to 3 weeks we will have the first wave completed.”

“And then start moving out to what we called phase 1A2 which is the non-hospital-based employees.”

Which will include first responders.

“First responders are definitely part of our first wave, so we have our 1A1, 1A2- they are the 1A2 group. So, they will follow just shortly behind our employees.”

They say they are working on a plan for how the vaccine will be administered to the general population once phases two and three begin.

“How do we do the broader population? What does that look like? That’s an ongoing conversation between us and the state.”

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