Watertown COVID-19 task force briefs public as vaccine distribution continues

Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 7:31 PM CST
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WATERTOWN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Health officials in Watertown are asking people to be patient and continue to work with health systems, as vaccines continue to be distributed in the city and surrounding counties.

Prairie Lakes CEO K.C. DeBoer said Codington County can expect to receive 300 to 400 doses of vaccine for first-time recipients for the immediate future, as Sanford Health, Prairie Lakes, and the Brown Clinic work through the SD DOH group 1-D. Sanford Watertown Director of Clinic Operations Cundy Mydland said each provider is working through their patient lists, as the number of doses available allows.

“We do have patient lists, and we do rank them by age and risk factors, and all of those things. And if you are not a patient of Brown Clinic or Sanford, you can get it at Prairie Lakes or you can sign up online.” Mydland said.

And they’re continuing to encourage people to get vaccinated when they’re contacted to. Dr. Dan Rieffenberger with the Brown Clinic stressed that each vaccine is safe, and said any small reactions to the vaccines are a sign they’re working.

“That’s our immune system kicking in. I’ll take a half a day of that versus being wiped out from COVID. And I have had multiple patients that have sicker way longer from COVID than anything related to the vaccine.” Dr. Rieffenberger said.

But importantly, each stressed for the public to be patient and wait for their healthcare provider to contact them when it’s their turn to get vaccinated. DeBoer said in the meantime, people should continue to follow health guidelines, even if they’ve already been vaccinated.

“I can’t stress how important it is that everyone continue to wear masks, wash their hands and socially distance. It is what will get us from here to there.” DeBoer said.

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