DSU, Madison Regional Health System partnering to hold mass vaccination clinics


MADISON, S.D. (KELO) — One in three South Dakotans has now completed their vaccinations against COVID-19.

With eligibility opened up to more people in the state, health officials are trying to make it as easy as possible for people to get their shots. Dakota State University and Madison Regional Health System are doing just that with mass vaccination clinics.

The Dakota Prairie Playhouse on DSU’s campus will become the site of a mass vaccination clinic Friday. Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available, which means people will only need one shot.

“We’re really focusing on our communications to students on campus because since that is a one-dose vaccine we know that we don’t have to worry about getting them back for a second one, especially as we’re kind of nearing the end of the academic year,” DSU interim vice president for student affairs Amy Crissinger said.

The walk-in clinic isn’t just for DSU students and employees: the event is open to any South Dakotan 18 or older.

“You think of the farmers, you think of manufacturing, we’re getting into the busy time of year for those people, maybe this is a good opportunity. Some people have a phobia against needles and so if they can just get that one vaccine and be done with it then they’re willing to do that,” Madison Regional Health System director of quality, safety & emergency preparedness Kathy Hansen said.

“The Johnson & Johnson is a nice option for those special populations that either have limited availability to return for a vaccine or you might not get them back for a second vaccine,” Madison Regional Health System director of clinic & community patient services Beth Graff said.

Vaccination clinic partners hope to give at least 700 doses Friday.

“COVID is still out there in our community, and maybe, you’ve heard this on the news, you may not be the high-risk person, but there’s a lot of vulnerable people and we need to take care of each other,” Hansen said.

This is the second time the university and health care provider have teamed up for a mass COVID vaccination clinic. Another single-dose event is planned next week. The clinic runs from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm Friday or until vaccine supplies runs out.

Event officials say this wouldn’t be possible without volunteers.

Lake Area Tech in Watertown is also holding a vaccination event Friday for students. No appointment is necessary, however students are encouraged to register.

The mass vaccination event is scheduled from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm at the LATC Student Center.

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