SD Secretary of Health: ‘It’s important that young people take this seriously, that they get vaccinated’

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Starting this week, any South Dakota resident who is 16 years old or older can now receive a COVID-19 vaccine. According to Centers for Disease Control data organized by the New York Times, South Dakota is 6th among states when it comes to the percent of people receiving at least one shot. For percent fully vaccinated, South Dakota is 2nd among states.

“I think it’s very important that people understand that the same processes that we have for every vaccine to ensure that they are safe was used for these vaccines as well,” South Dakota Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said.

“I think it’s important to take a look at the vaccine and understand that the vaccine is safe and effective, that we have vaccinated many South Dakotans with very few side effects, most of those side effects being very mild that leads to pain at the injection site, some swelling, maybe a little headache and that sort of stuff,” state epidemiologist Josh Clayton said.

Of course, COVID-19 hits people in drastically different ways. Malsam-Rysdon brings up a trend that can impact anyone.

“While we know that COVID tends to impact older folks more severely, younger people can get COVID, they can get sick from COVID, they can have long-term serious outcomes from COVID and finally they can spread COVID,” Malsam-Rysdon said. “And so it’s important that young people take this seriously, that they get vaccinated so that they can minimize their impact of potentially spreading COVID to folks who might be more vulnerable.”

There is also a considerable amount of misinformation out there about these vaccines.

“There’s a lot of people with other agendas out there that you really do need to understand the source of the information that you’re looking at and even sometimes when that’s friends and family, their sources might not be the best,” Malsam-Rysdon said.

The secretary says to seek out information from credible outlets.

“So don’t leave it to other people, do your research … there’s a lot of information out there, but go to a reputable source, and I think you’ll find what we’ve been telling people and that is that these vaccines are safe and that they are effective,” Malsam-Rysdon said.

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