SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Sanford Health began offering the recently approved COVID-19 vaccine booster shots to those eligible on Tuesday, Sept. 28, a top health system official said.

Federal officials Sept. 23 authorized the Pfizer vaccine booster shot for those age 65 and older and those in high-risk groups, and health systems and other vaccine administrators have been making them available in the following days. The Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based health system is now offering them across its multi-state footprint, said Dr. Jeremy Cauwels, chief medical officer of Sanford Health.

“Sanford Health will be offering Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots for people over 65, those with underlying health conditions and people with jobs that put them at higher risk,” Cauwels said in a statement released via Sanford Health News Monday.

Sanford Health footprint spreads across North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota, with 46 hospitals, including major medical centers in Sioux Falls, Fargo and Bemidji, Minnesota, and 224 clinics.

It's not yet clear how many people in South Dakota have gotten newly available vaccine booster shots. A Department of Health spokesman said the department is working to update its online COVID-19 data dashboard to include booster shots.

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The Pfizer booster shot is only currently authorized for those who have previously received the Pfizer vaccine series, not for those who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

“We’re working with healthcare providers and pharmacies across the state to ensure an efficient and convenient process for South Dakotans to get their booster shot—another tool against COVID-19, and a quicker path out of this pandemic,” South Dakota Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said in a news release after the federal approval last week. “It’s important that patients talk to their doctors to determine if a booster shot is right for them.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who qualify to receive a Pfizer booster vaccine include:

  • People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings, who should receive a Pfizer vaccine booster shot at least six months after getting the second of their Pfizer two-shot vaccine series
  • People aged 50-64 years with underlying medical conditions, who should receive a booster shot of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer primary series
  • People aged 18-49 years with underlying medical conditions, who may receive a booster shot of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer vaccine series, based on their individual benefits and risks

  • People aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting, who may receive a booster shot of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after their Pfizer primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.

The following are the South Dakota Department of Health COVID-19 case rates, deaths, hospitalizations and vaccinations tracked by the CDC as of Tuesday. All data is the latest available but should be considered preliminary and could be updated at a later date by health officials.

Vaccinations

  • INITIAL DOSE ADMINISTERED (IF 2-DOSE VACCINE): 520,002 people, 58.8% of state's population

  • FULLY VACCINATED: 454,704 people, 51.4% of state's population

Statewide case rates

  • NEW CASES: 812 (seven-day daily average: 555)
  • CURRENT ACTIVE CASES: 7,600
  • TOTAL CASES: 143,995
  • TOTAL RECOVERED: 134,262

Hospitalizations, deaths

  • NEW HOSPITALIZATIONS: 45 (seven-day daily average: 23)

  • ACTIVE HOSPITALIZATIONS: 200

  • TOTAL HOSPITALIZATIONS: 7,359

  • DEATHS, NEWLY REPORTED: 4

  • TOTAL DEATHS: 2,133

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