Tidelands Health initiative to vaccinate Georgetown County School District employees well underway
Georgetown County Schools are taking a giant step toward a return to normalcy this week as Tidelands Health administers the lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine to teachers and other school district employees.
Tidelands Health and Georgetown County School District partnered several weeks ago to develop a vaccination plan for district employees. Vaccinations began Monday – the first day school employees became eligible under state vaccination guidelines.
“All of us at Tidelands Health know how important our schools are to our community, and we’re honored to be part of the solution that will keep schools open and students in class,” said Dr. Gerald Harmon, vice president of medical affairs at Tidelands Health. “The COVID-19 vaccine will protect not only the health of our teachers and other school employees but also our children’s future as we get kids back in the classroom full time.”
GCSD employees are receiving the vaccine at Tidelands Health’s two regional vaccination sites in Georgetown and Horry counties. Already, nearly 50 percent of those school district employees who have chosen to receive the vaccine have been vaccinated or scheduled for their first dose.
Tidelands Health expects to substantially complete all GCSD first-dose vaccinations by the end of next week. A one-time Saturday event is planned for March 20 to administer vaccine to those school district employees who have been unable to come to a vaccine appointment during the school week.
Efforts to quickly vaccinate school district employees have been bolstered by a substantial increase in vaccine allocation to Tidelands Health over the past two weeks. The health system received a record 6,000 first doses last week and another 3,500 first doses this week.
“We appreciate Tidelands Health’s partnership and efforts to prioritize all of our employees,” said Superintendent Keith Price. “This will enable us to offer our staff added protection against the virus on top of the safety precautions we already have in place.”
Tidelands Health has long partnered with Georgetown County School District to improve community health. From offering job shadowing opportunities and placing athletic trainers in high schools to providing medical counsel and guidance for school district nurses, the not-for-profit health system works with GCSD to improve the health and wellness of students and district employees.
Tidelands Health is also the region’s leader in COVID-19 vaccine administration. To date, the health system has administered more than 34,000 doses of vaccine – more than any other provider in Georgetown and Horry counties.