Brookings holds mass COVID-19 vaccination event

Published: Feb. 25, 2021 at 5:53 PM CST
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BROOKINGS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - 1,000 people in Brookings County now have their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The City of Brookings, along with the Brookings County and local healthcare systems, teamed up to bring a mass vaccination clinic to those who are eligible to get vaccinated.

The Swiftel Center in Brookings was a sigh of relief for many 65 and older on Thursday, including Patricia Meyer.

“It’s a very emotional moment. We have been waiting a long time for this to happen and we’re pleased to be a part of a community health system that is so supportive of this event today,” Meyer said.

The Brookings County Pandemic Planning and Coordination Committee, or PPCC, decided to hold a vaccination clinic to help get shots in the most arms possible.

“Brookings County has over 32,000 people, and we’ve got two clinics and a hospital and they just get overwhelmed,” PPCC Chairperson Bob Hill said.

Over 120 volunteers, SDSU medical students, and healthcare professionals helped at the Point of Dispensing, or POD. An event like this they’ve been preparing for.

“We’ve practiced almost yearly to give this type of exercise. This is the first time obviously we’ve done COVID-19 type shots,” Hill added.

And for COVID-19, it’s a first for South Dakota, “As far as I know we are the first one that I’ve seen advertised to run a full-scale POD.,” said Hill.

A similar event will take place on March 25th, for everyone to get their second dose. Bringing hope for some about life post-pandemic.

“Really staying home as a homebody to be away from any potential opportunities to maybe catching the virus, so now I feel like I can reconnect with grandchildren and children,” said Meyer.

Organizers say they are planning to have more events similar to this one, as bigger population groups become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine sometime in the future.

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