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DHEC FIGHTS THE WRONG BATTLE

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The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has the goal of getting as many people vaccinated for Covid 19 as possible. They are the authority for all things health in South Carolina.

Yet, Horry County officials said Thursday that the county-run vaccine clinic out of the M.L. Brown Public Safety Building will shut down once it distributes its current supply of vaccines, citing ongoing issues with DHEC.

Horry County was originally assured vaccine doses would be supplied. However sources inside county government told us DHEC said those assurances were a “miscommunication” and that the agency would not be providing future shipments of the vaccine to Horry County.

As the Sun News reports: The county had requested a shipment of first doses of the vaccine, the statement said, as part of its program to vaccinate the public. Horry County government in recent weeks has shifted from only offering the vaccine to county employees to the general public who meet the criteria for Phase 1a or Phase 1b. Currently, anyone over age 55, those with certain health issues, and certain front-line workers, including grocery store workers, are eligible for the vaccine.

“Despite indicating their commitment to making sure everyone who received a first dose would receive a second dose in future shipments,” the statement read, DHEC hasn’t supplied vaccine doses since mid-February.

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There remain a number of venues in Horry County where members of the public can receive the coronavirus vaccine, though Thursday’s announcement means there is now one less.

We remain frustrated by the lack of ability from SCDHEC to consistently communicate with vaccine providers in the state,” county officials wrote in the statement. “We are not alone, and we find it necessary to speak out. We have endeavored to work cooperatively with SCDHEC, but have been thwarted at every turn.

These issues between Horry County and SCDHEC began when county staff and workers began bringing family members and a few friends for first line vaccines in February.

The goal of DHEC is to get S.C. vaccinated.

Is this the right time for the bureaucracy to go to war with county government?

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David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

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