SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — With this latest surge in cases, health officials are trying to get the message out there that the vaccines are safe and effective. That includes an effort by the city of Sioux Falls to educate people in certain neighborhoods about the importance of the vaccine.
Some areas of Sioux Falls are doing better than others when it comes to the number of people who are vaccinated. There are areas with vaccination rates of more than 90 percent, and others as low at 50 percent.
The city health department website features an interactive map with data provided by the state.
For instance, this area of central Sioux Falls shows a vaccination rate of 61.7 percent, next to an area where 74.7 percent of the people report being vaccinated. A little further north and the neighborhood in that area only reports a 52.6 percent vaccination rate. It’s these areas colored in yellow that have the attention of the health department.
“So that has been helpful for us as well as to know which parts of the city we can put a bit more energy to see how we can increase awareness about a vaccine and provide opportunities for people to be informed,” said City Health Director, Dr. Charles Chima.
Chima says Sioux Falls is already targeting these areas with the “Give it a Shot” mobile vaccination clinic, door-to-door education along with flyers and mailings.
Does he see vaccines as the way out of this pandemic?
“Absolutely, absolutely the data has clearly shows that,” said Chima. “Those who are vaccinated those who have gotten their boosters are far less likely to end up in the hospital or dying from the disease so if we can get this to where it stops being a severe disease we can pretty much be comfortable about going about our normal lives, right.”
Chima says he’s encouraged by a steady increase in vaccination rates within the city. He says it could be faster, but at least the numbers are climbing.
The city’s interactive map also shows surrounding areas. As of December 20th, Tea had a vaccination rate of nearly 59 percent. Harrisburg is at nearly 57 percent. Depending on where you live in Brandon, the vaccination rate varies from about 60 percent to 74 percent.