Brookings Health System on Monday began administering initial vaccination doses to nursing home residents at The Neighborhoods at Brookview, following Phase 1b of the South Dakota Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan.

“We are hopeful that vaccinations will become a turning point for our residents, families and team members,” Long Term Care Administrator Jason Hanssen said. “To that end, we must still exercise caution and keep infection control restrictions in place for the safety and well-being of our residents. We will continue to follow the pandemic guidelines outlined by the Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.”

The doses come from the state’s allotment of 14,600 Moderna-manufactured vaccines the state received following the FDA’s emergency use authorization. In addition to nursing home residents, today Brookings Health will begin offering vaccinations following Phase 1c, which comprises other health care workers not included in Phase 1a, emergency medical services, and local law enforcement. 

As more doses become available, the Department of Health will plan and coordinate the opportunity for additional Phase 1 subgroups to receive the vaccine; additional information and guidance will be released at that time. 

Phase 2 of the Department of Health’s plan will make vaccines widely available to the general public. Depending on vaccine supply, the Department of Health hopes to initiate Phase 2 in April or May.

The COVID-19 vaccination is an important tool to help stop the pandemic. Combining the vaccination with mask wearing, social distancing, frequent hand washing and other tools gives the best opportunity to stop COVID-19’s spread. More information about local efforts to fight COVID-19 and the vaccine can be found online at brookingshealth.org/COVID.

By: Brookings Health System

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