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Avera Medical Minute: Questions and answers about the vaccine rollout in South Dakota

Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 3:26 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - South Dakota is being hailed as one of the best at providing vaccines to its residents in a timely manner. To date, over six percent of the population has been vaccinated, and a new group of individuals has now become eligible for the vaccine. Avera Medical Group Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kevin Post answers questions about the vaccine and who can receive it.

Q: What is the current status of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout?

A: We are wrapping up the 1B and 1C stages at this time. 1C still ongoing 1B we’re actually finishing this week which is going to be a week ahead of time, so we’re very encouraged by that. And then we are very excited to be offering it to our 1D group, which is our patients that are the highest risk, which would be those that are 80 years and older, those with high-risk conditions such as cancer, kidney dialysis, also transplant patients. And then also those that live in congregate or group settings such as independent living homes, shelter, etc. So, hopefully, some of the high-risk populations will be able to get the vaccine, and then we really hope as we transition through the 1D stage that the way we’ll be able to decrease the age of who qualifies, possibly by five-year increments and moving downward as we can roll out the vaccine.

Q: Some people are wondering how they’ll know when it’s their turn to receive the vaccine. How will we know?

A: You will be notified by your primary care provider. They will contact you when you can be put on the list for the vaccine. Another good way is to go on to Avera.org and under the COVID-19 portion of the website, you can actually see updates of where we are in the rollout, which groups are vaccinated, and then even though the website if you qualify for the groups that we are in at this time, you can also sign up for a waiting list there. But the short of it is your primary care provider will contact you when you qualify.

Q: What else do we need to know about taking care of ourselves during this pandemic?

A: The vaccine is really what I would like to touch on. Because of its proven safety, it is proven to be efficacious in what is working well. It really is our best path forward to get back to normal. So I think all of us do want to get back to normal times with our family, our friends, our co-workers, and really by stepping up and getting vaccinated is really the best path to get there.

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