COVID-19 vaccines plentiful in Columbus this week, with more than 1,000 in Tabor City Sat.

By DEUCE NIVEN

tribdeuce@tabor-loris.com

     More than 3,000 COVID-19 vaccines will be available in Columbus County later this week, more than 1,000 for an event Saturday in Tabor City, 1,000 more in a drive-through clinic at Southeastern Community College.

     Vaccines will vary, including the Pfizer vaccine at Saturday’s clinic at the Tabor City District Court Building at 110 West 4th Street, the “one-and-done” Johnson & Johnson vaccine the same day at Southeastern Community College.

     Pfizer vaccines will also be available Thursday at the Whiteville Parks and Recreation Center, 225 Rec Center Drive.

     Appointments are required for the Tabor City and Whiteville events, which are being provided by Charlotte based StarMed Healthcare.

     Vaccination for the StarMed clinics are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday in Whiteville, Saturday in Tabor City.

     Vaccines will be available for those in the state COVID-19 distribution plan’s Groups 1, 2, 3, and 4.

     To schedule an appointment for the StarMed clinics call 980-445-9818 or visit here.

J&J at SCC

     With 1,000 vaccines available for Saturday’s vaccination event at Southeastern Community College, plans are in place to move folks through quickly in the drive-through first-come, first served event, Columbus County Health Director Kim Smith said.

     Her worry is that there will be vaccine left over.

     We don’t want to take any vaccine back to the health department,” Smith said.

     Detailed logistic plans are in place with some 300 volunteers expected to take part, Columbus County Deputy Emergency Services Director David Ransom said.

     “We will have two lines going in, seven vaccination stations, and holding areas on the front end and at the end,” Ransom said.

     A holding area following the vaccine will be needed so that those given the vaccine can be observed to make sure there are no adverse reactions, Ransom said. For most people the hold period will be 15 minutes, though people taking blood thinners will be asked to wait 30 minutes after being vaccinated, Ransom said.

     Those receiving vaccinations will not need to get out of the car, Smith said. Nurses will give the vaccines at the car window, as many as four people for many vehicles.

     Sponsors for the SCC event include the Columbus County Health Department, Columbus Regional Healthcare System, Columbus County Emergency Services, and other Columbus County departments.

Vaccinations encouraged

     Smith, the county health director, worried early this week that few appointments had been made for the Tabor City and Whiteville events. She encouraged people to sign up for the Tabor City and Whiteville events.

     StarMed had initially planned two days of vaccinations in Whiteville, Wednesday and Thursday, but had to scrap the first day because delivery of those vaccines was not scheduled until Wednesday, Smith said.

     With the delay, the decision to move a second day to Tabor City was made, Smith said.

     StarMed is working under contract with the state’s Department of Health and Human Services, and has 2,300 vaccines for the Columbus County events this week, Smith said. If those vaccines are not given in Columbus County, the state agency will shift its focus to other areas with higher demand, Smith said.

     Look for more COVID-19 information in this week’s Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.