SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Governments and businesses across the country are creating incentives to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19. Here in South Dakota, less than 50 percent of people 12 and older have completed their vaccinations.

It’s been about six months since the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out began and you may be wondering how long you’ll be protected.

There’s still differing views throughout the United States about the COVID-19 vaccine, which extend into discussions surrounding the possibility of COVID-19 booster shots as well.

“Something that’s being pushed so hard to get, that we can’t have the choice, you know, we want our kids not to have to put as many outside toxins into our bodies, you know? And so we probably would not be on board with doing something like that,” Linsey Fasold, visiting South Dakota from North Carolina, said.

“I think that there’s an influenza vaccine that we take every year, I don’t see why we can’t have a booster shot every six to twelve months as part of our normal healthcare. I’d be fine with that,” Jessica Simms, visiting South Dakota from Washington, D.C., said.

Dr. Mike Wilde with Sanford Health says we might not need to worry about booster shots or at least not anytime soon.

“Studies looking at our immune system, looking at our immune system and the response to the vaccine, or natural infection, are showing prolonged, the theory of prolonged immunity,” Wilde, Vice-president medical officer for Sanford Health, said. “So, we’re optimistic that, for the foreseeable future, we will not need a re-vaccine or a booster, but of course, that’s always subject to change as well.”

That includes protection against the different variations of the virus as well.

“The more we get vaccinated up front, evidence again, in the last couple weeks, has shown that, regardless of the three vaccines available in the United States, regardless of which one you get, they do a really nice job of preventing infection from any of the COVID variants out there, or SARS-CoV-2 variants out there,” Wilde said.

Wilde encourages everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine so we can reach herd immunity.

Sanford recently closed its mass vaccination clinic, but the shots are still available at all of Sanford’s primary care facilities. Wilde says they’ve actually seen an up tick in people getting their shots.

“As people maybe have conversations with their primary care clinicians around should I take the vaccine or shouldn’t I,” Wilde said. “And as they have those conversations, we’re able to get those vaccines in the primary care offices. And they’re in our neighborhood so you don’t have to travel across the city or travel to a town to get it.”