PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Starting Monday, March 22, people in group Phase 1E can start signing up for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Phase 1E is the final group of Phase 1 of the statewide vaccination plan. Phase 2 allows for all South Dakotans over the age of 16 to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. To sign up for a vaccine, you must contact a COVID-19 vaccine provider, which is listed by each county. 

Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon says the state will receive 21,000 doses of vaccine next week. Those numbers do not include vaccines given through federal programs like Indian Health Service, Veteran Affairs or the federal pharmacy program (pharmacies like Hy-Vee, Lewis and others). 

When including federal and state allocations, the DOH is estimating 34% of South Dakota’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.  Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said more than 117,000 people have completed their full series of vaccination, which she says it what is needed for life to return to normal.

Malsam-Rysdon said the state remains confident it will be able to meet a goal set by President Biden last week for every American over the age of 16 to be eligible to receive the vaccine.

State epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton addressed variants being seen in South Dakota. Two people in Minnehaha County were identified with B117 variant. Clayton said the three vaccines are safe and effective against COVID-19 and the variants. He stressed people need to continue using the same mitigation measures as we have throughout the pandemic.

Clayton said the state is seeing more cases now than compared to the summer. He added people need to be cautious given the number of infections seen in South Dakota.