COVID-19 vaccine making way to every home in phases

At the start of the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in South Dakota, each health care system had their own system of how they dispersed their allotted doses to their patients. Avera, Sanford, Horizon, etc. all had their own system, while also following the state guidelines, such as inoculating the frontline healthcare workers and elderly over the age of 80 first, then going to the long-term care residents, regardless of age, and so on. 

The South Dakota Department of Health’s (SDDOH) website states that starting on Monday, Feb. 8, South Dakota is currently in Phase 1D. This includes vaccines for persons over the age of 65, starting with people 75 and over and going down in age in five-year increments as the vaccine becomes available in each county. Phase 1D also includes high-risk patients, who are dialysis patients, post-transplant patients and active cancer patients. This phase also includes high-risk residents in congregate settings, residents in licensed independent living facilities and residents of licensed group homes.

Sanborn County has been provided the necessary vaccines for each phase. All the residents and staff at the Prairie View Healthcare Center have been vaccinated, and all the employees of the Woonsocket Community Health Center (WCHC) have also been vaccinated. However, not every resident of the county who is over 80 years old has been given the vaccine, but that is being addressed as the vaccine becomes available and patients make it known that they haven’t received the vaccine, yet. 

The WCHC is a Horizon Healthcare facility, and they have been dispersing vaccines as they get them to their regular patients according to the DOH guidelines listed above. The WCHC has been receiving their vaccines from the Huron Regional Medical Center when they have them available. Availability changes from week to week. According to the SDDOH website, “Due to limited allocation of the vaccine, the South Dakota Department of Health will use COVID-19 infection rates and will follow recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to guide which counties will receive the vaccine first.” So, the lesser populated counties, such as Sanborn County, may have to wait for vaccines to get here, but the state and the local healthcare facilities are doing the best they can to get the vaccines dispensed correctly and efficiently to those most vulnerable to the virus.

Currently, the WCHC is contacting their regular patients who fit into the current phase to receive the vaccine, when the clinic has vaccine doses to give out. However, if a resident of Sanborn County fits into the current phase and would like to receive the vaccine in Woonsocket, they can call the WCHC and be put on a list for when additional vaccine doses are available. According to the staff at the WCHC, that is the current plan for dispersal of the vaccine at their facility, but the dispersal plan from Horizon changes often, so that may not be the case from day to day or week to week, but it never hurts to call to see if you are eligible.

…Read on in this week’s issue of the Sanborn Weekly Journal!

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