Avera St. Luke’s continues outreach vaccination efforts throughout August

ABERDEEN, S.D. – Avera St. Luke’s Hospital continues to offer both the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines on a regular basis. Additionally, the hospital has coordinated several outreach pop-up vaccination clinics, including clinics at the Brown County Fair, Northern State University and Presentation College.

“As health care continues to change, we know the importance of meeting people where they are. Adding these outreach vaccination clinics provide a convenience to a demographic our vaccine efforts have not yet reached,” said Alvin Haugen, Director of Pharmacy and Avera St. Luke’s Vaccine Coordinator.

Avera will offer vaccines at the First Aid Station at the Brown County Fair on Thursday, August 19 from 2 to 6 p.m. The Avera mobile unit will be located between the Home Arts Building and the Expo building.

A vaccine clinic will also be held at the Groton Township Building in Centennial Village on Saturday, August 21 from 2 to 6 p.m. Centennial Village will be offering a free beverage to those choosing to be vaccinated during the event, as well as drawing for prizes.

Walk-ins are accepted for both clinics during the fair. Those wanting to guarantee a Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccine or time can schedule by calling 605-622-5273. Anyone that shows proof of vaccination may also enter for a door prize from Avera.

Presentation College is hosting two Avera vaccine clinics for its students, faculty and staff only. Both are in the college’s Student Union as follows:

•11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Aug. 13

•10 a.m.-1 p.m., Aug. 30

Northern State University will host Avera vaccination clinic from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 27. NSU’s vaccine clinic will be open to the public.

At each of these events, Avera will offer both the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. Those that receive the Pfizer vaccine will need to schedule a second dose. Those 18 and older are eligible to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Anyone 12 years old and older may receive the Pfizer vaccine.

For any clinic, those being vaccinated will complete a form that is also available here. Because of changes with state funding, staff may also ask for insurance cards. Vaccines remain free, and insurance is not needed in order to get vaccinated.

Everyone getting vaccinated will take part in a 15-minute observation period. Those that have risk factors will be required to be observed for 30 minutes.

Vaccine appointments for additional clinics at State Street Medical Square may be made by calling 605-622-5273. Those clinics are held Wednesdays from 2-5 p.m. and Thursdays from 9-11 a.m.
While those clinics are smaller than earlier vaccination clinics, they have been consistently filling up and there remains interest in getting the COVID-19 vaccine, Haugen said.
“In fact, these clinics continue to exceed our expectations with the quantity of vaccines we are administering weekly,” he said. “These clinics were originally set up to accommodate at least 30 doses, and we’ve had some that have been double that number.”
The vaccine coordination team believes the interest continues to remain steady as more and more people are finding value in getting vaccinated and as children are preparing to go back to school. COVID-19 positivity rates among the unvaccinated are projected to increase for the first time since this spring. More recently, 90% of hospital admissions and deaths nationwide are among those unvaccinated. The Delta variant is more than 80% of those cases.
“A safe and effective vaccine is a vital step toward ending the COVID-19 pandemic,” Haugen said.
Since the end of December 2020, Avera St. Luke’s Hospital has completed almost 100 vaccine clinics, administering nearly 20,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
You can learn more about Avera’s vaccination efforts, including information on other vaccination clinics, at Avera.org/covid19.