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State Prepares for First Shipment of COVID-19 Vaccine


Both Pfizer and?Moderna?are on the cusp of receiving emergency use authorization from the FDA for their COVID-19 vaccines.??

South Dakota health?officials expect the initial shipment of?the Pfizer?vaccine?to?reach?the state?in?two weeks.???

The CDC?recommends?frontline?healthcare?workers?be among the first to receive the vaccine.??

Secretary of Health Kim?Malsam-Rysdon?says the state?must decide which?healthcare workers?receive those?first doses.?

“Our initial vaccine allocation will be lower than what that need is.?So?we will be working to prioritize to get that first group through.”?

South Dakota?expects ?7,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine by December 15th.?The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses.??

Secretary?Malsam-Rysdon?says the 7,800 doses will go to 7,800 healthcare workers.?

“This is really?gonna?be first for those folks that are working in the most intense settings, taking care of folks with COVID. We know that that happens, because of the way healthcare happens, most often in Sioux Falls and Rapid City.”?

The Department of Health is working with Sanford, Avera and Monument Health on how to divide?those?initial doses.?Malsom-Rysdon?says the department is also working with Prairie Lakes Hospital in Watertown and Mobridge Regional Hospital.?

“Those hospital systems including Watertown and Mobridge will be the entities getting those initial doses and helping us vaccinate individuals in those first phases.”?

The state expects weekly shipments of both Pfizer and?Moderna?vaccines once they receive FDA approval.??

We do not have the numbers for what week two and week three will look like, although we do expect it to be lower than that initial 7,800,” says?Malsam-Rysdon. “We do not have the estimates on the?Moderna?vaccine, but we do expect to have that information very soon.”?

It’s not clear how soon the next priority population will start receiving vaccines. That group includes long-term care workers and residents.??

-Contact SDPB reporter Jackie Hendry by email.

Jackie is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls Studio.
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