HURON — The most recent numbers released by the state indicate that 54,617 South Dakotans have now received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination with 69,104 total doses administered.
Statewide, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines have been distributed nearly equally, with more than 34,500 of each vaccine administered in the state. The breakdown works out to 2,865 with the two-shot series of the Moderna vaccine completed and 11,622 with the two-shot series of the Pfizer vaccine completed.
The 54,617 who have received at least one dose of the vaccine represents 6.2% of the population of the state.
According to Huron Regional Medical Center (HRMC), 1,326 total vaccinations have been distributed to Beadle and Sanborn county workers through the hospital. The state COVID website lists Beadle County with 1,306 total doses administered to 970 persons. The Moderna two-shot series has been completed by 128 Beadle residents and the Pfizer series completed by 208 residents, meaning that 336 county residents have completed the full vaccine series.
The 970 people who have received at least one dose of the vaccine in Beadle account for 5.3% of the population of the county.
Dawn Allen, vice president of patient services at HRMC, stated that HRMC anticipates completing first doses to those in groups 1A and 1C next week.
That will turn the page to phase 1D, the largest phase by population of the five priority phase groups in the state’s vaccination plan.
HRMC has worked with five clinics in Huron on the plan for those prioritized phase 1D (80 years plus and high risk patients). These clinics include Huron Clinic, New Life Clinic, Tschetter & Hohm Clinic, HRMC Physicians Clinic and Horizon Health Care (James Valley Community Health Center). Staff at these clinics are currently reviewing their patient records to determine which patients fall into this priority.
Each week, HRMC will determine how many doses from the hospital’s allocation are available for distribution to the clinics and that amount will be divided equally. This week, the hospital able to distribute 120 doses to the clinics.
Clinic staff will reach out to priority patients and schedule their vaccination appointment (clinic providers will determine which patients will be contacted first).
For those patients who do not have a primary care provider at one of the clinics in Huron, Dr. Christopher Bronson, an internist at HRMC Physicians Clinic is willing to order the vaccination and the patient will be notified of their scheduled inoculation. For continuity of care, the patient will be offered the opportunity to establish care with Dr. Bronson, but it will not be a requirement to receive the shot.
Weekly allocation will be used less and less on phase 1C over the next few weeks until this is completed, approximately at the end of February. That will increase the amount of doses available to clinics.
Community members are encouraged to be patient and wait for their primary care provider to contact them except in the case of a patient without a primary care provider. Patients who are over the age of 80, post-transplant, or currently receiving cancer treatment who do not have a local provider can contact the HRMC Physicians Clinic at 353-7660.
As the community awaits vaccinations to larger scale groups, it is important to remember basic safety precautions. HRMC encourages the following recommendations:
• Wear a mask over your nose and mouth,
• Stay at least six feet away from others,
• Avoid crowds,
• Avoid poorly ventilated spaces, and
• Wash your hands often.