RAPID CITY, S.D. — As the long-awaited coronavirus vaccine begins to roll out, not everyone will have access right away.
The execution will go in phases, with the general public beginning vaccinations around summer to mid summer.
Though adults may begin getting vaccinated, it’ll likely be a bit before a vaccine is approved and available for kids, as there is not enough data to support the vaccine recommendation for anyone under the age of 16.
Dana Darger, Director of Pharmacy for Monument Health, says, “Now that we have the Pfizer vaccine approved for 16 and older and Moderna is approved for 18 and older, there are studies going on in pediatrics – and the thing with pediatrics is that we need to get it into the adult population first to make sure there aren’t any of those really bad side effects that kids don’t have the reserves that we do as adults, and so we want to make sure that that vaccine is as safe as we can because when those things happen to kids, a lot of times it’s a lot worse than it is for adults.”
Pregnant women are also be waiting for more data to be compiled.
Darger says, “There’s still a study that is on going, results have not been published yet, so it is not recommended but it is not contraindicated either, so this is one of those things where I think that a woman who is pregnant should probably discuss with her OBGYN and together decide what the best course is for her right now.”
According to Darger, the vaccines that are out right now are safe and effective with the FDA reporting six cases of anaphylactic reaction.
“The vaccine is at least 10 times safer than penicillin. We expect to have an adverse reaction rate with this, it’s a drug, we do with every drug. The rate is actually very low, so it’s safe,” adds Darger.
Those rolling up their sleeves will receive two doses of the vaccine within about a month’s time frame. It will still be recommended to remain taking measures to protect yourself and your family until you’re immunized.
Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations for how to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from getting and spreading COVID-19.
That means continuing to wear masks, socially distance, avoid large gatherings, and regularly wash your hands.
It is recommended you wait for three months after contracting COVID-19 to get the vaccination.
South Dakota recently ranked third in nation for vaccination utilization, as healthcare workers and at-risk adults begin to receive the new COVID vaccine.