State’s vaccine allocation to increase

PIERRE, S.D. (South Dakota is going to be receiving more COVID-19 vaccine doses in the coming weeks, the Department of Health said Wednesday.

The state will start to receive about 12,800 weekly doses next week, said Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon, up from the previous weeks’ 11,000 doses.

The increase comes after the federal government changed distribution strategies and increased shipments to states, rather than keeping vials in reserve for second doses.

South Dakota has been a nationwide leader in terms of vaccine distribution.

Epidemiologist Joshua Clayton said South Dakota has had about 117,725 doses allocated to the state. As of noon Tuesday, about 82,000 doses had been administered and just over 60,000 people had received at least their first dose. Roughly 24,000 people have received both doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. This does not include tribal vaccination distribution, which is being handled by the Indian Health Service.

Most South Dakotans who have been eligible for the vaccine have opted to receive it. About 65% of health care workers offered the vaccine have taken it, and at least 95% of nursing home residents have received the vaccine.

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