A lot of people are asking when will the COVID-19 vaccine be available to them.
The State of South Dakota has set guidelines that prioritize groups for the vaccine until it is more widely available and talked about that first phase of vaccinations today.
This week, as the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived in South Dakota, hospitals began vaccinating their frontline workers at Avera, Sanford and Monument Health.
“Monday was a great day for many of us, longly anticipated and really excited about what the future brings now that we are seeing vaccines being delivered here,” Kim Malsam-Rysdon said.
That future, for the first phase of vaccinations, looks like this.
“We are starting with our frontline health care workers who are taking care of people with COVID in emergency departments, ICU’s, COVID acute type settings, as well as long term health care facility workers,” Malsam-Rysdon said.
The next group to receive the vaccine will be other health care workers, as well as first responders and law enforcement and correctional officers.
After that the state says it’ll move on to those who are most vulnerable.
“Those individuals with two or more underlying health conditions, people over age 65 and those who live independently in group homes or teachers and college staff, funeral service directors,” Malsam-Rysdon said.
The state started phase one in some of the most populated areas of the state using the Pfizer vaccine, which requires cold storage.
Frontline workers in more rural areas will start getting vaccinated next week.
“With the Moderna vaccine, which we will be getting next week, that doesn’t have the ultra-cold storage that is where we will have the ability to get out to health care providers in that very first phase in other locations,” Malsam-Rysdon said.
The state received 7,800 doses from Pfizer and more than 14,000 doses from Moderna will arrive next week just for the first phase of vaccinations.