South Dakota to lower age minimum for COVID-19 vaccinations

COVID-19 Vaccine

FILE – In this Jan. 18, 2021, file photo, a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 is prepared at a vaccination center of the 3rd district, in Paris. Japan’s COVID-19 vaccinations are beginning Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, after the government granted belated first approval to a shot co-developed by Pfizer Inc. that the United States and many other countries started using two months ago.(AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Department of Health will be lowering the age for COVID-19 vaccinations to those who are 65 and over.

Health officials said those who qualify in that age bracket should be eligible for shots beginning Monday.

“It is exciting that given our orderly and well planned vaccination strategy, coupled with the dedication of our medical professionals across our state, we are in such a strong position when it comes to vaccination efforts. These factors, in addition to increased vaccine allocations, has allowed us to progress through Group D efficiently and open up vaccination statewide to those over 65 starting Monday,” said Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that South Dakota has received more than 189,000 doses of vaccine and administered nearly 163,000 of those, or about 18,500 doses per 100,000 people.

That is one of the top rates in the country. State officials say about 16% of the South Dakota’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine and more than 7% has received two shots.

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