SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – COVID-19 vaccination efforts in South Dakota has been underway for about three months now.
“When it comes to vaccinating and pandemics like this, we are given freedom to really just vaccinate as many as we can as fast as we can,” Michaela Seiber, CEO of SD Urban Indian Health said.
The South Dakota Urban Indian Health Clinics in Sioux Falls and Pierre have their doors open for people who might not be able to receive a vaccine elsewhere.
“And I’m getting calls from teachers and a whole bunch of populations that are unable to get vaccinated elsewhere because of our state’s guidelines, but thanks to the guidelines we follow, we’re able to kind of adjust it accordingly,” Seiber said.
SD Urban Indian Health has moved through three phases of their vaccination roll-out. They started in December with healthcare workers then moved to people 75 years and older. Lastly, they vaccinated people 65 years and older as well as people 16 to 64 with high-risk medical conditions. Seiber says they just moved out of that third phase and can now vaccinate anyone over 18, prioritizing those who still fit the first three categories. The number of doses the organization receives every week varies.
“Because of our Urban Organization status, we serve a lot more patients than just Native patients. So they’re very flexible in how we kind of roll-out our vaccine distribution. So we do have a little more flexibility. We’re following the CDC guidelines to a T, but, you know, within those guidelines, we’re given the autonomy to really know our community and know what our community needs so we can kind of tailor our efforts to match those needs,” Seiber said.
In Friday night’s Eye on KELOLAND we will tell you more about Seiber, who just recently took on the role of CEO at SDUIH, and what her plans for the organization are.