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Avera Health updates vaccination plans for South Dakota

Phase 1D vaccinations currently planned

Avera Health coronavirus Lab Testing
Testing for the coronavirus at Avera Health in Sioux Falls, S.D., is shown in this photo submitted March 23, 2020. Submitted / Avera Health

Avera Health said recently that it is conducting vaccination clinics for different population groups, according to tiered groups set by state health departments.

In South Dakota, at-risk individuals as part of group 1D are currently being vaccinated, including people age 80 and over and people receiving care for cancer, transplant and dialysis. Avera patients in this group are being contacted by Avera to set up vaccine appointments. Vaccination is by appointment only.

Or, people can go to Avera.org/covid-vaccine to fill out an online vaccine form. Those who are not in qualifying groups right now can sign up to be put on a waiting list, or can continue to watch for updates on the vaccine web page . Those who do not have internet access can call 1-877-AT-AVERA (1-877-282-8372). Avera asks that people call only if they do not have access to internet as fielding a large amount of calls will limit the hotline’s ability to schedule those at-risk people in 1D who are now designated for the vaccine.

South Dakotans in groups 1A and 1C are also currently being vaccinated. These groups include health care workers in patient care, emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, public health workers, lab workers, law enforcement, correctional officers, dentists, home health staff, and pharmacists. People in this group who have not yet been vaccinated can go to Avera.org/covid-vaccine to fill out the online form.

For people living in South Dakota, an online map is available to see which health system is responsible for vaccinating people in your county. If you live outside of South Dakota, please see your state’s health department web site to learn more.


“Avera wants to help people in our communities receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Because the supply is limited, we want to abide by groups set by the state,” said Dr. David Basel, who serves as vice president for Avera Medical Group Quality. “As 1D is a large group, we thank everyone for their patience. It will take time to get everyone in this group vaccinated,” Basel said.

Avera is setting up vaccination clinics in response to the amount of vaccine received through allocations from the state. For many, it may be weeks or months, depending on age and risk factors. As the vaccine supply increases, additional groups will be able to get vaccinated. The state of South Dakota has set an approximate expected timeline for population groups.

For the two-dose vaccines, it is very important to receive both doses. When you go in for your first dose, you will be scheduled for the second dose. Doses are three to four weeks apart, depending on the vaccine manufacturer. Due to the large number of people who need to get through vaccination clinics, we ask that people not try to reschedule their second dose unless absolutely necessary.

If you will be traveling or won’t be able to get your second dose as scheduled, please wait to schedule your first dose until a time when you can be present for both doses.

“Vaccinating our entire population is a monumental task, and so we ask for the public’s patience and cooperation. We encourage people to sign up for a vaccine when the time is right for your given population group,” Basel said. “Avera is advising that as many people as possible get the vaccine. It’s safe and effective.”

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