SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — About 100 South Dakotans have gotten the second shot of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, meaning they are fully vaccinated, the state Department of Health reported Wednesday, Jan. 6.
The vaccination milestone comes as South Dakota leads the nation in administering COVID-19 vaccines. As of Wednesday, 29,778 people have received at least an initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, per state health officials, or about 3.4% of the state's population.
The state is No. 1 on a per capita basis for administering the vaccine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with about 3,200 vaccines administered per 100,000 people, and among the top states in distributing the vaccine.
The state totals don't include vaccines federally distributed to Veterans Affairs and Indian Health Service facilities in the state. State health officials said Wednesday they expect to continue receiving about 11,000 COVID-19 vaccines a week, including both Pfizer and Moderna-made vaccines.
“Working closely with our partners, we are ensuring a smoother experience for the end-user, even as federal vaccine allocations continue fluctuating,” Kim Malsam-Rysdon, state secretary of health, said in a news release. “I want to extend my gratitude to Avera Health, Mobridge Hospital, Monument Health, Northern Plains Health Network and Sanford Health, for their dedication and for being crucial partners in the fight against COVID-19 in our state.”
The state Department of Health also posted new information about the vaccine distribution and timing on Wednesday, in both English and Spanish, on the state's COVID-19 information website covid.sd.gov.
It posted a county-by-county map online showing which health system is responsible in each county for vaccine administration. It also posted a rough timeline for when people could expect to have access to a vaccine.
Health care and long-term care facility workers (known as Group 1A) have received initial vaccinations, while a vaccination effort is underway now for long-term care residents (Group 1B). The timeline posted by the states says Group 1C — EMS/public health workers, law enforcement and correction officers — is also now being vaccinated. Malsam-Rysdon said in a Wednesday media call that group totals just shy of 50,000.
The next group, Group 1D, is the largest, totalling about 266,000 people. That group, which is scheduled to begin getting vaccinated next month, consists of people with two or more underlying conditions, those aged 65 and older, residents in congregate settings, educators and school staff and funeral service workers.
The next group, 1E, is expected to begin getting vaccinated in April. That group, approximately 227,000 people, consists of fire service personnel and public-facing workers in essential and critical infrastructure.
Everyone else, those age 16 and older, is expected to start getting vaccinated starting in May.
South Dakota health officials reported six new fatalities due to COVID-19 on Wednesday, raising the state's death toll to 1,519. They also reported another 608 people had tested positive for COVID-19, raising the all-time total in the state to 101,684, or about one in nine state residents.
There are 6,387 active cases in the state, or those who have tested positive for the virus and are still considered able to transmit COVID-19. There are 264 people hospitalized in the state with COVID-19, a number just below the seven-day average.
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