South Dakota begins administering COVID-19 vaccine to group 1D Monday
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - As South Dakota continues to be among the top states in the nation in vaccine rollout, health experts say they plan on moving into the fourth phase of the state’s vaccination plan on Monday.
Group 1D, or the fourth group to receive the vaccine, consists of those over the age of 65, and with two or more underlying health conditions. However, it’s the older and more at-risk population who will get the vaccine first.
“We will be focusing on those individuals who are 80 or older, as well as people who are at the highest risk or poor health outcomes if they were to contract COVID,” said South Dakota Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon.
Group 1D also includes teachers, education staff, high-risk patients, funeral service workers, and other high-risk populations.
Health officials say this group could take some time due to its size, and the number of doses given to the state by the federal government.
“That next step that is going to be a large group, that’s probably 250,000 individuals in that group. Right now, the state gets about 11,000 doses a week, so it will take quite a few weeks to get through that big of a group,” Avera Health’s Dr. David Basel said.
The Department of Health estimates it will take until the end of March to vaccinate this entire group.
Gerald Beninga is nearly 70, and in group 1D, and is excited knowing his turn to get the vaccine is on the horizon.
“I’m excited, frankly I can’t wait to have the shot. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I hope. It’s been difficult, I think all of us are finding out how socially active we are and how important engagement is,” said Beninga.
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