Avera continues to conduct vaccination clinics for different population groups, according to tiered groups set by state health departments.

Union County is served by Avera for vaccination purposes.

In South Dakota, at-risk individuals as part of group 1D are currently being vaccinated, including people age 80 and over and people receiving care for cancer, transplant and dialysis. Avera patients in this group are being contacted by Avera to set up vaccine appointments. Vaccination is by appointment only.

Or, people can go to Avera.org/covid-vaccine to fill out an online vaccine form. Those who are not in qualifying groups right now can sign up to be put on a waiting list, or can continue to watch for updates on the vaccine web page. Those who do not have internet access can call 1-877-AT-AVERA (1-877-282-8372). Avera asks that people call only if they do not have access to internet, as fielding a large amount of calls will limit the hotline’s ability to schedule those at-risk people in 1D who are now designated for the vaccine.

South Dakotans in groups 1A and C are also currently being vaccinated. These groups include healthcare workers in patient care, emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, public health workers, lab workers, law enforcement, correctional officers, dentists, home health staff and pharmacists. People in this group who have not yet been vaccinated can go to Avera.org/covid-vaccine to fill out the online form.

“Avera wants to help people in our communities receive the COVID-19 vaccine,” said David Basel, MD, Vice President for Avera Medical Group Quality. “Because the supply is limited, we want to abide by groups set by the state. As 1D is a large group, we thank everyone for their patience. It will take time to get everyone in this group vaccinated.”

Avera is setting up vaccination clinics in response to the amount of vaccine received through allocations from the state. For many, it may be weeks or months, depending on age and risk factors. As the vaccine supply increases, additional groups will be able to get vaccinated. The state of South Dakota has set an approximate expected timeline for population groups.

It is very important to receive both doses. When you go in for your first dose, you will be scheduled for the second. Doses are three to four weeks apart, depending on the vaccine manufacturer. Due to the large number of people who need to get through vaccination clinics, we ask that people not try to reschedule their second dose unless absolutely necessary.

If you will be traveling or won’t be able to get your second dose as scheduled, wait to schedule your first dose until a time when you can be present for both doses.

“Vaccinating our entire population is a monumental task, and so we ask for the public’s patience and cooperation,” Basel said. “We encourage people to sign up for a vaccine when the time is right for your given population group. Avera is advising that as many people as possible get the vaccine. It’s safe and effective.”