Vaccine rollout on the Rosebud Reservation is underway and Tribal members say its going well. 

There’s a generation’s-old belief Lakota share with their children.

“We're always taught culturally, to think about the collective, especially when there's a threat,” says Wayne Frederick.

Hy-Vee Joins Vaccination Effort In Sioux Falls

Feb 23, 2021
Hy-Vee, Sioux Falls

February 23, 2021 Show 994.

Vaccine distribution and administration continues to accelerate in South Dakota. There are different "lanes" of vaccination for residents of the state. Sanford, Avera, and Monument Health have administered tens of thousands of vaccines. The Veterans Administration is now vaccinating veterans 50 and older. Indian Health Services is working quickly to vaccinate tribal community members. And now, pharmacies join the effort as well, as South Dakota seeks to vaccinate people 65 and older.  

February 23, 2021 Show 994.

OST Starts Vaccinating Frontline Healthcare Workers

Dec 28, 2020
NPR / Getty Images

The Oglala Sioux Tribe is vaccinating healthcare, nursing home and long-term care facility workers.


The COVID-19 vaccine is the first major use of an mRNA vaccine. The so-called ‘messenger’ RNA uses genetic material to create immunity. Healthcare experts hope explaining how it works will ease some people’s concerns.

A vaccine with messenger RNA triggers an immune response. Dr. Jennifer Hsu is an infectious disease physician at Sanford USD Medical Center.


The first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in South Dakota Monday morning.

The state received 78-hundred doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Most of them are staying in Sioux Falls, where frontline healthcare workers will receive the first of two doses.

Nearly three-thousand vaccine doses arrived in Avera’s shipping dock just before nine on Monday morning. Another three thousand went to Sanford, and 975 went to Monument Health in Rapid City.


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. 

South Dakota Department of Health

South Dakota health officials are preparing to distribute vaccinations for COVID-19 as early as next month.

It’s unclear if any current trials will have a vaccine available by then, but federal authorities are telling states to get ready. 

Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon says the vaccine will go out in three phases.

On Call with the Prairie Doc® Preview

Sep 17, 2020

In The Moment … September 17, 2020 Show 904 Hour 1

On Call with the Prairie Doc® can be seen on SDPB TV Thursday nights at 7 central 6 mountain. Tonight's episode hosted by Dr. Deb Johnston is Pediatrics, Information for all Ages. Dr. Johnston is a family medicine doctor with Avera Medical Group and one of the Prairie Doc® physicians. 


Health reporting on SDPB is supported by Monument Health


Working On A COVID-19 Therapeutic

Mar 11, 2020

In The Moment ... March 10, 2020 Show 770 Hour 1

SDPB is bringing you the latest information on the coronavirus and COVID-19, including research into the nature of human disease.  Eddie Sullivan, Ph.D. is president and CEO of South Dakota's SAb Biotherapeutics and joins In the Moment to discuss the complexity of finding a solution. 

Education and Healthcare reporting on SDPB is supported by Monument Health of Rapid City


After more than two hours of testimony and discussion, the House Health and Human Services committee rejects a bill that prohibits schools from requiring vaccinations. 

House Majority Leader Lee Qualm sponsored the bill and says it’s unfortunate the bill has been referenced as “anti-vax.” He says it’s really about medical freedom.

Badlands National Park Battles The Plague

Nov 7, 2016
Badlands National Park

Both black footed ferrets and prairie dogs live in Badlands National Park in and around the Conata Basin.

But prairie dogs are carriers of the sylvatic plague. It’s similar to the disease that devastated Europe’s population during the Middle Ages.

Jenifer Jones

The Legislative Podcast for January 25th, 2016 includes stories on an effort to change the policy on transgender bathrooms and locker rooms in schools.  You can find more from opponents, and proponents who were interviewed on SDPB’s Dakota Midday.   This podcast also includes updates on legislation to mandate a meningitis vaccine for entry in school and an effort

Legislative Podcast: Mandatory meningitis vaccinations & booze tax split

Jan 20, 2016

Education and Medicaid expansion are the hot topics in Pierre this session…but they’re not the only bills likely to generate public interest. SDPB’s Jenifer Jones has this rundown of some of the other bills the news team is tracking this session.

SD Has First Confirmed Flu Case

Oct 23, 2015

South Dakota has its first confirmed flu case of the season. A Marshall County resident in the 70 to 79 age group was hospitalized with influenza A. Colleen Winter with the state Department of Health says everyone six months and older should get vaccinated

“Flu vaccine is available in your communities,” Winter says. “And that’s the best line of defense. So our message is reach out to your healthcare provider, your healthcare professional, some of the pharmacies are providing vaccines, but now’s the time to get vaccinated.”

In an extended cut of the original story, SDPB's Charle Michael Ray shares more on the efforts of researchers near Wind Cave to save prairie dogs from the plague. Plus, SDPB's Kent Osborne reminds listeners of the upcoming Landscapes of South Dakota photo contest and presents a special challenge for this weekend.

Prairie Dog Plague Vaccine Aims To Save Ferrets

Jul 25, 2014

In South Dakota prairie dogs have the plague.

The disease can kill off whole colonies and it hurts the effort to restore endangered species like the Black Footed Ferret.  

In order to preserve prairie dogs and ferrets in certain areas a new vaccine is being developed.  Researchers are now testing the vaccine in the field at Wind Cave National Park.


H1N1 Flu Back In South Dakota

Jan 6, 2014

The lethal H1N1 flu has returned to South Dakota. But health officials currently classify the spread of H1N1 at a low level in South Dakota. It is widespread in 10 states - Wyoming, Kansas, Alabama, Alaska, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. Dr. Lon Kightlinger, state epidemiologist for the South Dakota Department of Health, says the virus is a similar strain to the lethal mutation of influenza that swept across the state and nation in 2009-10.


Aug 27, 2013

Archana Chatterjee, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the Department of Pediatrics and senior associate dean for faculty development at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, has edited a need book on vaccinophobia - the fear of the adverse effects of vaccines and preventative medicine.  Published by Springer, "Vaccinophobia and Vaccine Controversies of the 21st Century" explores the phenomenon in detail and offers a foundation for the development of solutions to dispel the misinformation and myths that surround vaccines.

Etubics Corporation has received a $1.03 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to move a vaccine for human papilloma virus (HPV) developed by a Sanford researcher to clinical trials. The vaccine was engineered by Sanford Research's John Lee and his team in collaboration with Etubics. Dr. John Lee discusses the vaccine.

The South Dakota Department of Health has reported the first influenza death of the season. The person was elderly and from Pennington County. The individual had Influenza B and was hospitalized. Lon Kightlinger is the state epidemiologist and says we have an early flu season this year and it is very important to get vaccinated. Kightlinger adds that there are other things that can be done to stop the spread of the flu virus.

Flu Virus Already in South Dakota

Sep 28, 2012

The new flu vaccine is here and health care offices across the state are encouraging residents to come in and get vaccinated. South Dakota already has four confirmed cases of influenza this year. As SDPB’s Cassie Bartlett reports, South Dakotans need to be proactive in preventing the flu.