South Dakota sees rapid vaccine delivery, but health experts fear rural residents may be left behind – WCCO

South Dakota sees rapid vaccine delivery, but health experts fear rural residents may be left behind - WCCO

PIERRE, SD (AP) – South Dakota is looking to build on one of the nation’s fastest COVID-19 vaccine deployments to date by making the vaccines available to a much larger group of people, although that some health care providers warn that vulnerable people in rural areas could be left behind in a rush.

South Dakota vaccinated 6.5% of the population, one of the highest rates in the country, and distributed more than 60% of the vaccine doses it received from the federal government.

Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said the state would begin immunizing people aged 80 and over on Monday, as well as those with high-risk health conditions. Vaccination for medical staff and residents of long-term care facilities, who have been hit hard by the virus, is nearing completion.

While other states have seen awkward deployments and blocked queues for vaccine appointments, South Dakota’s distribution schedule has been relatively smooth. It is thanks to a partnership between …

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