Phase 1 workers receiving first dose of vaccine

PIERRE, S.D. (DRG News) – South Dakota’s lead health official says safety was not sacrificed during “Operation Warp Speed” efforts to develop, manufacture and approve COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.

Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon says Pfizer’s vaccine has been distributed in the state and Phase 1 workers are receiving their first dose.

She says health regulators are keeping tabs on the success of the vaccines.

South Dakota’s initial allotment of COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government includes 7,800 Pfizer doses—which arrived this week– and 14,600 Moderna doses– which are expected to arrive next week. Malsam-Rysdon explains how those numbers were determined.

All three major healthcare networks in South Dakota– Avera, Monument and Sanford– as well as the Mobridge Regional Hospital and the Prairie Lakes Healthcare System in Watertown have received their first batch Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

President and Chief Medical Officer at Avera St. Mary’s Hospital in Pierre Dr. Mikel Holland says the vaccine is expected to become available to designated Phase 1 workers at the Avera facilities in Pierre and Gettysburg next week.

Doses are being distributed according to South Dakota’s vaccination plan. For more information and the latest resources, please visit COVID.SD.GOV.