SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — More and more new coronavirus cases are coming from younger people.
As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, the impact of the vaccine is already being seen in South Dakota. According to data from the South Dakota Department of Health, 143,447 persons age 60 or older have received at least one dose of the vaccine. The 2019 U.S. Census Bureau population estimate for South Dakotans age 60+ is 212,172, which means 67% of people age 60 or older have been vaccinated. When you move the age to 65 or older, State epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton said the rate is 87%, which is higher than 79% for the nation.
For younger populations, the percentage of people vaccinated is lower. In return, the portion of new cases is much higher. Since the start of April, there’s been 466 new cases in the 20-29 age group and only 19 in the 80+ age group.
Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon specifically called on the 20-29 age group to sign up for a vaccine in a media briefing on Wednesday.
“That is where we are seeing the largest number in total cases in recent weeks,” Malsam-Rysdon said. “Vaccination can help with that. It can also help with that population that is likely to spread coronavirus to others.”
According to data from the DOH, 105,470 people from age 20-49 have received at least 1 dose of the vaccine. The U.S. Census Bureau breaks down younger populations by every four years and the estimated population for 20 through 44-years-old is 278,179, which rough equals to 38% of that age group receiving at least one dose of the vaccine.
Malsam-Rysdon said the DOH is actively working towards providing more information to people who have waited to sign up for the vaccine. She said with an increase in vaccine availability, more information is needed to be provided to specific groups about the vaccine to help them decide to receive a vaccine.