UPDATE: At current weekly dose distribution, S.D. would need at least a year to complete Phase 1; DOH official says state will receive more vaccines in future to increase pace

KELOLAND.com Original

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — At the rate South Dakota is receiving its weekly supply of coronavirus vaccine doses it would take about 80 weeks to vaccinate the state’s entire population.

Department of Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said the state has been receiving “just shy of 11,000” vaccine doses per week.

The state’s estimated 2019 population is 884,659 so at 11,000 doses per week, it would take nearly 17 months to vaccinate the entire state. For now, the vaccination is geared toward those 16 and older but there are clinical trials being conducted for those 12 and older. Manufacturers of other vaccines are expected to seek emergency use authorization and receive approval from the FDA.

But, that timeline is at the current dosage pace and the pace that is expected to increase in the future, Daniel Bucheli, the communications director for the DOH, said on Jan. 7.

Bucheli said Moderna announced on Monday, Jan. 4, that it planned to increase production by 20% soon.

Bucheli said planned and expected increases in vaccine production along with new vaccines in the future and a federal plan to provide additional vaccines to pharmacies will increase the vaccine supply in South Dakota from today’s numbers.

Malsam-Rysdon said on Jan. 6 the number of doses the state receives has changed repeatedly. Malsam -Rysdon said she couldn’t predict when the vaccination supply will increase for the state.

Right now, the state needs to vaccinate at least an estimated 541,000 people in parts C, D and E in Phase I. At 11,000 doses a week, it would take roughly a year to vaccinate all those individuals.

As to whether the number of doses received as met the state’s expectation, “That’s hard to answer,” Malsam-Rysdon said. The number “changes repeatedly…” so it’s difficult to determine what was expected by this point, she said.

The state has completed vaccinations for individuals in parts A and B of Phase 1,which includes health care workers, DOH officials said. The state is leading the nation in its vaccination effort, but the most demanding part of the vaccination plan is likely ahead.

There are more than 49,000 individuals who need to be vaccinated in part C. Another estimated 265,561 individuals need vaccinations in part D.

“That’s a very, very large group,” Malsam Rysdon said of part D.

The state has started vaccinations for parts C and D.

Part E follows D and includes an estimated 227,400 individuals that need vaccinations.

The A-D categories, in general, cover health care workers, people 65 and older, those with two underlying medical conditions, emergency workers, teachers and others.

Phase 2 would include anyone 16 and older that does not fit in a Phase 1 A-D category.

The DOH website estimates a vaccination distribution timeline through December of 2021 with Phase 2 in May through December.

What to know about the COVID-19 vaccine in South Dakota


Who is charge of the vaccine distribution?
The South Dakota Department of Health developed a 64-page COVID-19 vaccination plan. According to the plan, the DOH has communication with leaders from 32 “points of dispensing” throughout the state.

Who gets a vaccine first in South Dakota?
There is a 3 phase approach of vaccine administration — all focused on allocation.

  • Phase 1: “Potentially Limited Doses Available”
  • Phase 2: “Large Number of Doses Available, Supply Likely to Meet Demand”
  • Phase 3: “Likely Sufficient Supply, Slowing Demand”

Throughout Phase 1 and Phase 2, South Dakota’s three primary health care systems — Avera, Sanford and Monument Health — will provide the vaccination services to “priority populations.”

Who is in Phase 1 of getting the vaccine?
The state determined through an allocation criteria four key priorities

  1. Risk for acquiring infection
  2. Risk of severe outcome due to infection
  3. Risk of negative societal impact
  4. Risk of of transmitting infection to others

Based on that criteria, health care workers, first responders and older adults living in congregate settings will receive the first vaccines as described in Phase 1A and Phase 1B.

When will vaccine be available for me?
On Jan. 6, the SD DOH released a new document showing when it expected vaccine availability for certain groups in South Dakota. You can see that document below. Phase 1D, which includes people two underlying health conditions, people 65-years or older and teachers, is expected to start in February. Vaccine for all South Dakotans, isn’t expected until May 2021.

Page 1 of COVID_VaxAvailabilityTimeline01132021
Contributed to DocumentCloud by Karen Sherman (KELO-TV) • View document or read text

Who has the vaccine in my county?
While the SD DOH oversees the vaccine the distribution, five different health systems have been charged in overseeing vaccine distribution and administration in their area. The five systems are Avera, Sanford, Monument, Mobridge Hospital and Northern Plains Health Network.

READ: South Dakota’s COVID-19 vaccine FAQ’s.

READ: South Dakota’s COVID-19 64-page Vaccination Plan

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