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Avera Medical Minute: Questions and answers about new vaccines, more South Dakotans eligible to receive them

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 3:28 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Avera Vice President of Clinical Quality Dr. David Basel has the latest developments regarding the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in this Q and A session.

Q: The State Department of Health has announced residents in the 1D tier will be eligible for the vaccine. How many people does that involve?

A: That’s probably gonna be 50,000 individuals in that group, and so right now the state gets about 11,000 doses a week and so it’ll take quite a few weeks to get through that big of a group.

Q: And when do you estimate that everyone in the state who wants a vaccine would be able to receive one?

A: I think we’re looking into later this spring and maybe even into early summer. It’s all going to depend on how many doses of vaccine we get.

Q: We’re hearing words of hope about more vaccines becoming available from Johnson and Johnson and also AstraZeneca, what do we need to know about these two new companies that are producing these vaccines?

A: Yeah. So, things will get interesting when we have two more players on the market. We have not seen the study data fully on those yet and so I can’t talk about you know their degree of efficacy, whether they have any different side effects. That will come as part of that emergency use process just like we did with the first two vaccines. We do know that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine has the advantage and that was studied is only a single dose vaccine so if it gets approved as a single dose as anticipated, that would be a win, certainly for populations where it might be hard to get them that second dose and so that may be one advantage of that one and also just having more volume on the market will be welcome.

Q: Last week we talked about the long haulers who are having an extended period of time dealing with COVID symptoms. For those long haulers now facing the decision about taking the vaccine, what is your recommendation?

A: Since those long callers have had such an adverse effect of being infected with the virus the first time, you really would not want them to get a second infection six months from now because they will likely have a reactivation at that point, so I would think it’d be very important to get those individuals immunized so that they don’t have a recurrence of symptoms later on.

For information on the vaccine distribution process, Dr. Basel suggests visiting the South Dakota Department of Health website, where you can click on a map of your county for local details.

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