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South Dakota Department of Health prepares vaccine rollout

Right now, there's no FDA-approved vaccine for COVID-19, but researchers are racing to create...
Right now, there's no FDA-approved vaccine for COVID-19, but researchers are racing to create one.(Source: CNN/Pool)
Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 11:57 AM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The South Dakota Department of Health is continuing to prepare for the prospect of a coronavirus vaccine.

On Wednesday, they held their first of several meetings to discuss what “mass vaccination” in South Dakota might look like to include details such as phasing, storage, and handling.

The State Department of Health told medical professionals from across South Dakota on Wednesday that they intend to get the vaccine out to certain at-risk populations first.

“We do have preliminary information that considers vaccine allocation and priority populations information to include health care personnel, long term residents, and potentially individuals with specific underlying medical conditions which increase the risk for COVID-19,″ said Angela Jackley SD DOH Disease Prevent Services Deputy Administrator.

South Dakota, and other states around the country, are preparing for the possibility of receiving a limited amount of vaccine initially.

"We have created a framework for equitable distribution and that is based on many factors included in our state plans. It’ll look at the number of doses we received, the priority population, where do we have a high incidence of COVID, individuals at higher risk who are getting COVID,” Jackley said.

State Health Officials aren’t sure how much a COVID vaccine will cost.

“We know it’s being worked on, I can tell you with VFC, we have a regional cap of $20.73 with a dose of vaccine administrated, I don’t know if it’s going to be similar to that, if it’s going to be regionality as to how its reimbursed, or if it’s going to be one national amount, we know they are working on that we just don’t know what that dollar amount is," said Kipp Stahl SD Healthcare-Associated Infections Program coordinator.

As millions get their flu shots, health experts aren’t yet certain if the flu vaccine and a COVID one can be received at the same time.

“The first answer was absolutely not, they aren’t being studied together. however, they’ve now said there is a chance certain vaccines could be given in opposite arms. I think we will have more definitive information from the acid I’m sure they are going to discuss that and address that because it is a very important piece of information to have.” Stahl said.

The state still does not know how many vaccines will be distributed in Phase 1 but believes that it will be distributed based on population.

To view presentation materials for healthcare providers, click here.

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