St. Mary's vaccinations

Beth Petersen, vaccine coordinator for Avera Health, recently administered the COVID vaccine to Melinda Butterfield, a certified nursing assistant at Maryhouse Long-Term Care in Pierre.

South Dakota Department of Health officials have continued their efforts to vaccinate the first phase of individuals for COVID-19. As of Dec. 30, 18,960 doses of vaccine have been administered statewide. Of those, 9,085 doses were made with the Pfizer vaccine, while 9,875 were made with the Moderna vaccine.

Health officials said they will focus on vaccinating frontline health care workers and long-term care workers first in Phase 1A of the vaccine distribution plan. Phase 1B, which began this week, includes long-term care residents. Next up in Phase 1C is other health care workers, public health employees, emergency medical services, law enforcement, and correctional officers.

Phase 1D will vaccinate people with two or more underlying medical conditions (such as heart conditions, immunocompromised illnesses, obesity, diabetes, or sickle cell disease), teachers and other school staff, people over the age of 65, residents in congregate settings like group homes or independent living facilities, and funeral service workers. Phase 1E will vaccinate fire service workers and other critical infrastructure employees (such as water/wastewater, energy, finance, food service, agriculture, legal, manufacturing, housing, transportation, information technology, and communications).

As the largest health care facilities are in Sioux Falls and Rapid City, vaccination efforts in South Dakota have focused on people in those areas first. In Minnehaha County, 6,237 doses of vaccine — 32.9% of the total vaccine doses given so far in South Dakota — have been administered. Adjacent Lincoln County has the second-highest concentration of vaccinations at 2,499 doses administered, with Yankton County in third with 1,003 vaccinations. In Pennington County, 882 doses have been administered

In Hughes County, 463 people have been vaccinated; 447 of whom got the Moderna vaccine, with the other 16 receiving the Pfizer version. In Stanley County, 80 people have been vaccinated — 77 received the Moderna version and three received Pfizer’s.

Statewide, women by far have received more doses than men, with 72% of vaccinations (13,602 in total) going to women. This is likely due to a relatively high percentage of health care workers being women.

The largest age group to receive the vaccine so far is 30-39 year olds, with 4,314 vaccinations administered. The second-largest age group to be vaccinated was 50-59 year olds, with 3,791 vaccinations given.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Department of Health reported 410 new confirmed cases and 152 new probable cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 89,725 and total probable cases to 8,995. Of all cases, 5,729 are active infections. There are 91,527 recovered cases, 293 people are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19, and 1,464 individuals have died from COVID.

In Hughes County, there were 119 active cases and 25 deaths. In Stanley County, there are 17 active cases and two deaths.

The health department updates case and vaccination numbers daily on its COVID-19 webpage, For more information on the vaccine and South Dakota’s vaccination strategy, go to

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