RAPID CITY, S. D. (KELO) — While the pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is making national headlines, it doesn’t appear to be slowing down COVID-19 vaccinations in western South Dakota.
Monument Health has plenty of vaccine on hand, even without Johnson & Johnson.
“There was already somewhat of a slow-down and that was to be expected since we are over 50 percent of eligible people to be vaccinated up until this point,” Scott Peterson, the Senior Director of Ambulatory & Pharmacy Operations, said.
Monument Health gave out about 3,500 Johnson & Johnson vaccines with no reports of blood clots.
That’s just a fraction of the total doses. The Senior Director of Ambulatory & Pharmacy Operations says altogether, the system has done 7,500 COVID-19 vaccinations. And that number rises every day.
“We’re certainly open for appointments, other locations in the area are also open, many of the retail pharmacies now have vaccine available. So we continue to vaccinate people that want to be vaccinated, continue to advocate for it because that’s the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones,” Peterson said.
Scott Peterson reminds everyone that there are a lot more risks that come with the virus than the vaccine.
“COVID disease really does increase your likelihood of having blood clots and having other long-lasting, detrimental health effects,” Peterson said.
You can schedule your COVID-19 vaccine appointment on the Monument Health website.
If you have already registered for a Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Monument Health officials say you’ll get the option to change it to Moderna or Pfizer, or reschedule.