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Darlington Raceway brings SC’s first Phase 1b vaccinations. Here’s how it went.

Chase Karacostas
·2 min read

Other than a lack of signage telling people where to enter, the Darlington Raceway mass vaccine event might be one of the most organized immunization clinics South Carolina has seen so far.

From start to finish, the appointment-only, drive-thru clinic takes as little as 30 minutes, including the 15 minute waiting period after the shot is administered. Cars rarely stop moving.

The event, which involves driving on the racetrack, is the Palmetto State’s first vaccine clinic to include people eligible under Phase 1b. This stage of the vaccine rollout technically doesn’t start until March 8, but McLeod Health got a special exemption to start early because the event still had unfilled appointments when Phase 1b was announced Monday.

A second mass vaccine event will be held April 1 for the second dose.

For those with an appointment for Friday’s event, the entrance is just west of the racetrack itself on Harry Byrd Highway in Darlington. The same process will be followed for the second dose clinic, as well.

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Here’s who Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) says is included under Phase 1B, which covers about 2.7 million South Carolinians.

  • People aged 55 and up.

  • People with increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease

  • Frontline workers with increased occupational risk

  • Individuals at increased risk in settings where people are living and working in close contact

  • All workers in healthcare and community health settings who have routine, direct patient contact and were not vaccinated in Phase 1A

Darlington Raceway held a mass vaccine event Friday, March 5, 2021 that was the first in the state to include people covered under Phase 1B.
Darlington Raceway held a mass vaccine event Friday, March 5, 2021 that was the first in the state to include people covered under Phase 1B.

Gov. Henry McMaster plans to speak at the event at 3 p.m. alongside McLeod Health officials and the president of Darlington Raceway.

This story will be updated.