PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Department of Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said she doesn’t have to go far to see volunteers from a state-wide collection help with coronavirus vaccines.
During an April 14 DOH news briefing, Malsam-Rysdon said volunteers are helping check individuals in and do other tasks for vaccine administration in Pierre.
“There’s a number of volunteers to help you check in, point you in the right direction…,” Malsam-Rysdon said.
Volunteers who responded to the DOH’s statewide request have also been helping at the four mass vaccination clinics in Watertown. The clinics are organized by Prairie Lakes Healthcare System.
Volunteers were used from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the first three mass vaccination clinics, volunteer coordinator JoAnn Paulson said. And for the fourth mass vaccination clinic from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. today.
The DOH began in January asking for volunteers to help with administering the vaccine.
“When were looking to get the vaccine out into communities More hands on deck just helps our efforts,” Malsam-Rysdon said in a Feb. 2 KELOLAND News story. By Feb. 2, about 1,900 people had signed up to volunteer.
As of April 14, Malsam-Rysdon said there were more than 3,500 volunteers.
Malsam-Rysdon said the volunteer information is distributed to Phase 1 vaccination coordinators around the state.
Paulson said she received a list of about 60 potential volunteers from Codington County.
Volunteers have been used to help check-in individuals at mass vaccination clinics. They’ve also helped to ensure proper social distancing is maintained through the process. Another task includes helping to monitor individuals when the vaccination is completed, she said.
Paulson said other volunteers have been helping with the data entry of information from the mass vaccination clinics.
The volunteer response has include those who volunteered through the DOH but also nursing and law enforcement students through Lake Area Technical College, local emergency and other community officials and businesses, Paulson said.
With the DOH volunteer list, the system has had enough volunteers, Paulson said.
Malsam-Rysdon said communities continue to rely on those volunteers.