SC man contacts Channel 9 after being refused 2nd COVID-19 vaccine dose

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Vincent Esposito was hit head on by another car outside Charleston on Dec. 15. He broke his leg in seven places, has one foot in a medical boot and uses a walker to get around.

After a week in the hospital, he was sent to a rehab facility, where he learned they were going to offer the COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 5. He signed up and got it.

“They came into my room, gave me my form and my little card that said where I got the shot from and gave me the shot,” he said.

A local Walgreens provided the vaccinations to the rehab center, and when Esposito asked how he would get the second dose of the Moderna vaccine in 28 days if he was no longer living there, he got this answer.

“You can go to any Walgreens and they’re going to give you the second shot,” he said.

It should have been that easy. Esposito had the small card with the date of when he got the first dose, and the lot number for the Moderna vaccine. He was making plans to go to Walgreens, but the drugstore told him he couldn’t get the shot there.

“They said, ‘You are gonna have to go back to the facility that gave it to you and get your shot there,’” he said.

That meant a trip back to the rehab center, Hallmark Healthcare Center in Summerville, to get the shot. When he called, they made it clear he couldn’t go there either.

“You’re not a patient here. You can’t come back in here. It violates our COVID protocols, but go to any Walgreens,” Esposito said.

He had already spoken to Walgreens, and grew concerned because his 28- to 32-day window to get the second dose was closing fast. He then reached out to Channel 9.

We called Hallmark Healthcare and explained what happened. The director there said, “We’ll get back to Mr. Esposito,” then hung up the phone.

Hallmark did call him Friday morning after our call. Now, they are saying that Esposito can come back and get the second dose next month. He was told that the vaccine wouldn’t be any less effective then.

Still, he worried that others may get caught in the same situation.

“It’s obviously a scenario that no one has been through,” Esposito said.

Channel 9 contacted Walgreens’ corporate office to ask why Esposito couldn’t get his second dose at one of their stores. As of late Friday, there was no response yet from the company.

Here’s how to get the COVID-19 vaccine in South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said doses of the vaccine will be made available through phases.

The state is currently in Phase 1a of its vaccination plan. The following persons are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in South Carolina, by appointment only:

  • Healthcare workers
  • Adults age 70 and older
  • Residents and staff of longterm care facilities, and
  • South Carolina state/local government employees and contractors who are critical to the administration of COVID-19 vaccinations and testing

Beginning Feb. 8, anyone 65 or older can also get the vaccine.

>> For more information on South Carolina’s vaccination plan, click here for our county-by-county guide.

South Carolina, like all states, currently has limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine. Some locations that offer vaccine may not have an appointment available for several weeks, depending on their vaccine supply. Facilities receive doses of vaccine each week from the federal government.

At this time, those eligible to be vaccinated should make an appointment at a location currently offering appointments. People must have an appointment to get the vaccine.

People can use SCDHEC’s vax locator map to find the contact location for a facility near them or call DHEC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line at 1-866-365-8110 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

For general questions about COVID-19 call the Care Line at 1-855-472-3432 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The Care Line can’t schedule appointments.

For the latest COVID-19 vaccine updates and information, visit scdhec.gov/vaxfacts.

Here are vaccine locations in local South Carolina counties. Use the map below to find each locations contact information:

York County:

  • Rock Hill Health Department
  • Doctors Care Rock Hill
  • Walgreens-Rock Hill
  • Rock Hill Piedmont Community Vaccine Clinic
  • Publix Pharmacy #1419 -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • Harris Teeter Pharmacy #82 -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • Harris Teeter Pharmacy #370 -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • Harris Teeter Pharmacy #475 -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • Walmart Pharmacy #3359 -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • Ernest G. Brown Women’s and Pediatric Center -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • NORTH CENTRAL FAMILY MEDICAL CENTER -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • Affinity Health Center -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • Good Pharmacy -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • Piedmont Medical Center -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • Publix Pharmacy #1482 -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • Publix Pharmacy #1485 -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • Publix Pharmacy #1486 -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • Harris Teeter Pharmacy #149 -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • Encompass Health Rehab of Rock Hill -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • York Health Department -- Currently not accepting appointments

Chester County:

  • Chester County Health Department
  • MUSC Health- Chester Hospital
  • North Central Family Medicine Chester -- Currently not accepting appointments

Lancaster County:

  • Mackey Family Practice Indian Land
  • Mackey Family Practice Lancaster
  • MUSC Health- Lancaster Hospital
  • Walgreens-Lancaster
  • Lancaster County Health Department
  • Doctors Care Indian Land -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • Publix Pharmacy #1412 -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • Harris Teeter Pharmacy #372 -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • Plexus Health | Lancaster -- Currently not accepting appointments

Chesterfield County:

  • DHEC Mobile Clinic @ Chesterfield County
  • CareSouth Carolina-Chesterfield -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • Chesterfield County Health Department -- Currently not accepting appointments
  • DHEC Mobile Clinic @ Chesterfield -- Currently not accepting appointments

>> Click here for the latest information on how to get the vaccine in your county, and for updated information on vaccine locations accepting appointments, click here.