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Health Systems and Department of Health Urge COVID Vaccination

For Immediate Release

April 20, 2021

Contact: SD COVID-19 Joint Information Center


Health Systems, Department of Health Urge COVID Vaccination

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.— Today in a united front, Avera Health, Monument Health and Sanford Health systems joined with the South Dakota Department of Health to encourage residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19.


Currently, vaccinations in South Dakota are open to anyone age 16 or older. Numerous vaccination appointments are available, and walk-in clinics are being held at some locations statewide. Vaccinations are provided at no cost to residents. Over half of South Dakotans have received at least one vaccine dose, and vaccination locations can be found here.


“We all want to put this pandemic behind us, and the quickest way to do so is by choosing to get vaccinated today,” said Kim Malsam-Rysdon, South Dakota Secretary of Health. “The vaccination is safe and effective, even against variants of the virus. The best way to slow down transmission and prevent adverse health reactions is for residents to choose to get vaccinated.”

Malsam-Rysdon and health system experts emphasize the following:


  • All COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Millions of people across the United States have been vaccinated.
  • The vaccine is working. Hospitalizations of COVID-19 are down, but some parts of the country are seeing additional waves of the virus and its variants. Vaccination is close to 100 percent effective against serious illness, hospitalizations, and deaths, even in the case of variants.
  • We have not yet reached “herd immunity.” Widespread immunity will not happen until around 70% of the population has been vaccinated.
  • Even if you had COVID-19, you should still be vaccinated. Antibodies wane over time and will not protect like the vaccine does.
  • If you received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, it’s important to get both doses for the greatest immunity.

“Get vaccinated to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community,” added Malsam-Rysdon.


To view press conferences click here


To get the most up to date COVID-19 data, updated daily, please visit the Department of Health dashboard. For additional information and the latest COVID-19 resources, visit COVID.SD.GOV.