RAPID CITY, S.D. — Monument Health Rapid City Hospital has received a little over 4,000 doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines. Monument has sent about 900 to other health care facilities around the Black Hills – not just their own.
Frontline health care workers were the first to get it, followed by long-term health care residents in the second phase. Now we’re in the third phase. Monument Health has been distributing and administering vaccines at a rapid pace in order to try and flatten the curve as soon as possible.
Scott Peterson, Director of Pharmacy for Monument Health, said, “Things have gone really well for Monument Health. If you look at how we’ve done, as a state, in comparison with the rest of the nation, we’re at the very top of that list. 60% to 70% of the doses that we’ve received we’ve already administered out to people.”
Monument is now into Phase 1C, which includes EMS, public health workers, as well as law enforcement and correctional officers. Doses of the vaccine have already been administered at the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office.
Rachel Waddell, Nurse Practitioner for the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, said, “I’ve been ready to get it for months and I feel great. So I am excited and hope it encourages my other coworkers, family, friends, and community to get it as well.”
Phase 1D is not expected to begin until February, which includes people with two or more underlying medical conditions, those that are 65 years or older, as well as teachers. The phase is expected to take the longest amount of time since there are over 250,000 people who fall under that category in the state of South Dakota. Monument Health believes that by the time phase 1-D is complete, we will really start to see a significant change in the number of positive cases.
Scott Peterson went on to say, “It’s extremely important to get the vaccination to people. And so the more people that are vaccinated, the less people that get COVID, the less people that are spreading COVID around. And so that ultimately results in less people getting sick.”