Prairie Lakes gives update on COVID-19 vaccinations

Coronavirus

WATERTOWN, S.D. (KELO) — More than 63,000 South Dakotans have had one or both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the state Department of Health.

Last Monday, the state entered into 1D of its vaccination plan, which includes those who are 80 and older and some people at high risk.

Sara Spilde has played a big role in Prairie Lakes Healthcare System’s COVID-19 vaccination process from the beginning.

The director of pharmacy even helps administer the shots.

“This 80 and over group, they are very thankful, very excited,” Prairie Lakes Healthcare System Director of Pharmacy Sara Spilde said.

Spilde says the vaccination process is going well, but she wishes it could go faster.

“Unfortunately, South Dakota as a whole, our allocation per week is only so much, so we can only give them as fast as we get them,” Spilde said.

Prairie Lakes President and CEO K.C. DeBoer says the health system has vaccinated more than 750 people in the 1D category so far.

“It’s going to take us a while to get through this group. I think that’s the thing we keep telling the public is be patient with us. We’re going to be with this 80+ group for the next few weeks and then we hope to drop down to a lower age bracket as will be decided by the Department of Health,” DeBoer said.

But when more people are eligible to receive the vaccine, DeBoer hopes they’ll take advantage of it.

“Based on what we’ve seen as a state and a nation, getting vaccinated is better than getting COVID, and so when your time does come, please get vaccinated because we can’t get out of this pandemic until we get enough people vaccinated that we can all take off our masks,” DeBoer said.

“It’s been exciting to have something that can hopefully move us forward and out of COVID,” Spilde said.

DeBoer says Prairie Lakes is asking patients not to call the hospital to get a vaccine.

He says the health care system will reach out to people.

Brown Clinic and the Sanford Clinic in Watertown will also notify people.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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