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Dec. 23, 2020
The front-line health care workers eligible for the first COVID-19 vaccines in South Dakota should be vaccinated by the end of the week, state health officials said.
South Dakota also is leading the nation in terms of vaccination per capita at this point, health officials said. With nearly 1 percent of the population now vaccinated, they said the state ranks in the top three with North Dakota and West Virginia.
As of today, nearly 8,400 vaccines have been administered. Of those, 5,947 have been residents of Minnehaha and Lincoln counties. There will be 19,000 health care providers receiving vaccines between last week and this week, health officials said.
“We have not seen reports of serious adverse effects from an vaccine administration in this state and will continue to monitor vaccine safety data daily,” said Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said.
The state received its first allocation of 14,600 Moderna vaccine doses this week and expects to receive 5,100 next week.
In addition, there are 4,875 Pfizer doses expected that will be given to long-term care residents through federal partnerships.
“We will really be seeing a lot of activity of vaccinating that group starting next week so we can protect those vulnerable adults,” Malsam-Rysdon said.
The next populations the state plans to vaccine are health care workers who don’t have direct contact with COVID-19 patients along with emergency responders in some areas. The rest of that priority group involves law enforcement and correctional workers.
The following priority group includes people 65 and older, teachers, those with two or more certain underlying conditions, residents in congregate care and independent living communities and funeral home workers.
State officials also stressed the need to take precautions with any holiday plans. There is free saliva-based testing available. To learn more and request a test, click here.
“We really do not want to see a post-Christmas surge,” Malsam-Rysdon said. “I know with cases going down it’s easy to think we can do the things we want to do and be around other people, but we really want people to be cautious with that.”
For the latest case updates and hospitalizations, click below.
South Dakota is leading the nation in per-capita COVID-19 vaccination, with front-line health care workers planned to be done this week. Here’s who’s next and how the state suggests you approach the holidays.