One of South Dakota’s top politicians is telling citizens to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
That call comes just after state health officials say they’ll open up vaccines for all South Dakotans starting Monday.
Republican US Senator John Thune watches as a Sturgis resident gets the first of two Moderna COVID vaccines.
Thune is on a congressional break from Washington DC and is touring vaccine sites at Monument Health locations in Spearfish and Sturgis.
The average number of COVID infections has remained steady since the beginning of February and is starting to increase again.
Thune—who is fully vaccinated—says if South Dakotans want to get back to normal, the best way to do so is by getting the vaccine.
“Get this done,” Thune says. “It’s absolutely a game changer. In terms of the efficacy of these vaccines—they’ve been very effective. Even the new variants—the UK variant, the South African variant, the Brazilian variant—as they do the more research and data I think these vaccines are going to be proven to be very effective against those as well.”
Thune says he hopes most South Dakotans will get the vaccine in the next couple months to establish herd immunity.
According to a Washington Post vaccine tracker, South Dakota ranks among the top states and territories for share of population who’ve gotten at least one dose of a vaccine. Twenty-one percent of South Dakotan’s are fully vaccinated.