SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – So far, more than 60,000 South Dakotans have received their COVID-19 vaccine. And states will receive even more doses after President Joe Biden announced a 16% increase of allocated vaccines.
Until now, South Dakota has been receiving about 11,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine each week. Next week, that will increase to more than 12,000. This prompts a change in the estimated timeline for distribution in the state.
“We expect that as our allocations continue and we’re able to get that initial group vaccinated that we’ll be able to drop the age group in five-year increments in future weeks,” Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said.
The focus right now is getting the vaccine out to people over the age of 80 and high-risk patients.
“The Group D population within phase one is quite large. It represents about 265 thousand people, so, you know, at the allocation levels, even with the increase this week, it’s likely to take us some time,” Malsam-Rysdon said.
South Dakota’s Secretary of Health, Kim Malsam-Rysdon, says the state is within the top five states for administering the vaccine. As allocations grow, the state will be asking for volunteers to help with the vaccination process. You can now sign up to help volunteer on the South Dakota Department of Health website.
“There’s really, kind of, two ways to help. One is to actually be able to vaccinate individuals and so that requires, you know, medical training and licensure to be able to do that. And then the other type of help that we are soliciting interest in is administrative support, data entry, you know, kind of, directing traffic, if you will, and those other things that really do help make these clinics operate smoothly,” Malsam-Rysdon said.
Volunteers would get the opportunity to be vaccinated if they’d like.