SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon says South Dakota needs to vaccinate 120,000 more people before we can reach herd immunity. It was all hands on deck, as state officials and hospital representatives gathered in Sioux Falls to convince more people to get vaccinated.
The Secretary of Health was joined by six doctors to create a united front asking people who have not been vaccinated to get a shot.
“Let us encourage each other and choose to be vaccinated. Questions are normal, but fear and misinformation are not,” Malsam-Rysdon said.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Josh Clayton highlighted the safety of the vaccines. He says there has not been a single serious adverse reaction to a vaccine reported in South Dakota.
Dr. Mike Wilde with Sanford Health says anyone over the age of 16 can and should get the vaccine.
“If you get COVID after vaccination, the illness is usually very mild,” Wilde said.
Dr. David Erickson with Avera Health says the vaccines are effective against the variants and even those who have had COVID-19 should get vaccinated because natural antibodies don’t appear to be offering as much protection as a vaccine.
Dr. Heather Spies spoke on behalf of her fellow OBGYNs. She wants to assure people the vaccines do not impact fertility. She also addressed hesitancy among those who are pregnant.
“There have also been new studies showing promise that women vaccinated during their pregnancies are passing antibodies onto their babies in utero and also to their babies in their breast milk, so not only is the vaccine going to protect mom but it is also going to add a layer of protection from COVID-19 for her baby,” Spies said.
Dr. David Basel finished the lineup of speakers. He encouraged younger people to get vaccinated saying the virus is now hitting them the hardest and he has many patients who are suffering from long-haul syndrome.
“I have several patients, they can’t get back to their prior level of activity. They can’t run as far as they could prior to the infection, and also they’re not thinking as clearly. I call it the COVID brain fog,” Basel said.
Basel also says anyone who has been waiting because they think others deserve the vaccine more, now is the time to get your shot.