SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s that time of year when respiratory viruses are spreading and people want to do everything they can to stay safe against RSV, the flu, and especially COVID. However, the new coronavirus vaccine is taking its time to spread across South Dakota.
“I would say that the vaccine right now, particularly for COVID is just slow coming out. It’s been approved for three different age groups at three different doses. And the first group that they sent out was the adult doses,” chief physician at Sanford Health Dr. Jeremy Cauwels said.
The slow release of the vaccine along with the high demand to get vaccinated has caused issues for people in Sioux Falls.
“So what we’re seeing is that some people are still having a little trouble getting in appointments or getting in to find doses throughout the community,” Cauwels said.
Adult vaccines are typically the first to be released, with children’s vaccines released afterwards. Sanford currently doesn’t have any vaccines for the 12 and under age group.
“The timeline on that really isn’t clear. It’s coming directly out of Pfizer or whoever’s making the vaccine to make sure that they have the doses and they have them to ship and be ready,” Cauwels said.
While kids may have to wait to get their shot, there are still vaccination opportunities for adults.
“We’ve shown that this is the proven way to decrease hospitalizations and keep people healthier all around. So absolutely, it’s a perfect time of year to think about that,” Lewis Pharmacy manager Sara Hahn said.
At Lewis pharmacies, there are no appointments for vaccinations, you can just walk in.
“We’re running some clinics here and there and so the clinics make it a really good time to come in, we’re fully staffed then to give the shots. But walk-ins are fine as well,” Hahn said.
Pharmacists at Lewis say there is no real shortage of the COVID-19 vaccine; the only issue you will have is if they run out of stock before their next shipment. If you plan to walk in to get your shot, they say regular business hours are the best time to go.