Simplified: Booster shots for folks 65 and older, and COVID-19 vaccines for kids aged 5-11 are likely on the horizon. Here's how Sioux Falls clinics are preparing.

Why it matters

  • The latest surge of the coronavirus – largely the delta variant – is expected to peak later this month or in early October, according to Joe Segeleon, vice president medical officer of Sanford Childrens.
  • Pfizer announced Monday that a lower dose of its COVID-19 vaccine works in children aged 5 to 11. More on that in this Associated Press story.
  • Meanwhile, an FDA advisory committee is recommending third doses (i.e. booster shots) of the Pfizer vaccine for people 65 and older.
  • Booster shots for some immunocompromised people are already happening, per the state Department of Health.
"Much of that conversation is still in flux," when it comes to specific recommendations from the FDA, Segeleon said.

What work is happening now?

Both Sanford and Avera noted last week preparations for the continued increase in cases.

When it comes to vaccines, Sanford is in discussions about whether it makes sense to re-open a specific site for vaccines or continue giving them in clinics, Segeleon said.

What about kids?

Vaccines won't be available for kids age 5 to 11 until the FDA either approves the drug or passes an emergency use authorization.

But, when kids 5 and older are eligible, it'll mean 94 percent of the population is eligible for a vaccine, Segeleon said.  

"Recall that this has really morphed into a pandemic of the unvaccinated ... the way to get out of this pandemic is to reduce the number of individuals who are vulnerable to it," he added.

Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled Dr. Joe Segeleon's name.