BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — More than half of South Dakotans have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the state Department of Health.
But a Brookings health professional has a message for those who haven’t rolled up their sleeve yet: don’t wait.
25-year-old Jimmy Forman got his first dose of the Moderna vaccine at a mass vaccination clinic on Thursday put on by the Brookings County Pandemic Planning and Coordination Committee.
“I want to continue life like normal and I want to not be worried about getting my parents sick or people in the community sick,” Jimmy Forman said.
Brookings Health System infection preventionist, Bunny Christie, wants to see even more people signing up for a shot, including younger and middle-aged people.
“The last couple of weeks we’ve really had a struggle to have people sign up,” Brookings Health System infection preventionist Bunny Christie said.
She says the struggle is due of a number of reasons, including vaccine hesitancy.
“With vaccine hesitancy, it’s really hard to convince people otherwise. Some people want to wait for others to get the vaccine to see how others feel afterwards or maybe a year from now how those people are. Some people think it was still fast tracked and still not good to use,” Christie said.
But the CDC says COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.
Despite hesitancy among some to get the vaccine, Thursday’s goal of vaccinating at least 1,000 people will be met.
“Now is the time to be vaccinated. The longer we wait the harder it will be to stop a fourth wave of COVID infection,” Christie said.
People like Forman are taking the steps to prevent that.
“It’s safe. Millions of people have had it. It’s going to return life to normal. Everyone can do their part to get things back the way they were before,” Forman said.
Christie says other reasons it’s been more difficult to get people signed up for the vaccination clinics are because some people still don’t want to attend mass events and pharmacies are also offering the vaccine.
Another first dose clinic will be held at the Swiftel Center in Brookings on April 22.