More South Dakotans, Americans getting vaccinated as delta spreads

Published: Aug. 6, 2021 at 6:24 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Ever since the delta variant became the dominant strain of COVID-19, health experts nationally have increased their push to get more people vaccinated.

Here at home, vaccination rates are staying the course with more than half the population fully vaccinated.

The White House announced Friday that more than half the population of the United States is now fully vaccinated. And in South Dakota, more than 54% of the population is fully protected against COVID-19.

State epidemiologist Joshua Clayton said that talk of the delta variant in recent weeks has encouraged more people to go out and get the shot.

“I think it really does show individuals stepping up to do what they need to do to prevent COVID-19, as well as getting information from trusted resources,” Clayton said.

Since vaccines became available, the White House has made a push to get shots into arms.

President Joe Biden saying Friday that vaccine incentives are a useful tool as delta continues to rage.

“I put in place new incentives and requirements to encourage vaccinations,” Biden said. “There will be more to come in the days ahead. And once again, I want to thank the local leaders and the private sector leaders who are posing vaccine requirements.”

Clayton said that the state Department of Health has been in regular talks with the White House to come up with vaccination strategies.

“It does really help us gain perspective on what’s going on nationally and help us have an open and honest discussion about how to continue to push vaccination and make sure people are protected.”

Clayton encourages South Dakotans with questions on the vaccine to contact the DOH or their local health care provider.

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