Tens of thousands of people in Sioux Falls have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Why it matters: Doctors at the city's two main health systems, Sanford and Avera, have said the vaccine is the only path out of the pandemic.

  • State health officials have reiterated the importance of the vaccine, and materials from the South Dakota Department of Health debunk common myths about the coronavirus vaccine.
  • The state is currently in phase 1D of its vaccine rollout. That means anyone 70 years old or older can get the vaccine, as well as high-risk patients (think: cancer, dialysis, etc.)

How many vaccines have been distributed? (And where do I get one?)

Tens of thousands.

Avera Health has vaccinated around 15,500 people in the Sioux Falls area. Sanford Health has vaccinated another nearly 15,300 in the area, and nearly 6,000 employees have gotten both doses of the vaccine.

Vaccines are also being distributed by both hospital systems as well as one Hy-Vee location in town (Marion Road), which can do an additional 50 to 100 doses per day. The first week, the available appointments at Hy-Vee filled within hours, spokesperson Christina Gayman said.

You can also get vaccines at Lewis Drug, though a spokesperson for the company didn't return a request for distribution information.

How will I know it's my turn for a vaccine?

Check the state health department website. Or, check with Sanford or Avera, which both have waiting lists available.

Want to know an estimate of when it'll be your turn? Take this little quiz on the health department website.

What does the process look like?

When it's your turn, you'll set an appointment with your provider. You'll get the first dose and set an appointment to get the second dose. Then, three or four weeks later (depending on which vaccine brand you get), you'll get the second dose.

Is the vaccine safe?

Yes, per the health department. They also have a roundup of frequently asked questions here and an explanation of how the vaccine works.