First day of expanded vaccine eligibility in South Carolina

First day of expanded vaccine eligibility in South Carolina

BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Wednesday was the first day that anyone over the age of 16 in South Carolina could register to get their first COVID-19 vaccination appointment scheduled.

The Buckwalter Recreation Center, one of the largest vaccine sites in Bluffton, had its busiest day yet.

Vaccine providers across the Lowcountry were ready for a surge in appointments.

“Like we’ve been doing the last few months we are excited to give shots and keep pressing forward towards that herd immunity,” Beaufort Memorial CEO Russel Baxley said.

Hospital vaccination sites have been making improvements for the extra demand.

“So, right now, we are evaluating. We are learning something new every week. We have added some more stations to keep things running smooth her and we are evaluating after this week to see how we can do things more quickly,” Hilton Head Regional CEO Jeremy Clark said.

“Right now, we are expanding some access at both sites and locations and talking about mostly getting more access at the Okatie site.”

That expansion is necessary. Wednesday, the lines at the Buckwalter Recreation Center wrapped around the building well into the afternoon. Partly because the hospital increased how many vaccines, they are giving out daily.

“Last week, we were doing about 1,000 vaccinations a day. Tomorrow we will do 1,600 vaccinations.”

To date, 57,824 Beaufort county residents have received at least one vaccine. Vaccine providers say they are excited to keep that momentum going.

“So, long as eligibility continues to expand and vaccines continue to be delivered, I think we are excited about where this thing is headed.”

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