This week saw South Dakota closing in on a major milestone in the fight against COVID-19.
Nearly a third of the state’s adult population had received at least one dose of the vaccine. The South Dakota Department of Health reported more that 158,000 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
That number did not include 12,800 people vaccinated by veterans affairs, thousands through Indian Health Service and thousands more through Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, which has expanded rapidly during the past three weeks.
And the vaccine surge will only intensity. Department of Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon announced an increase in the state’s weekly allotment with thousands more doses expected from a third vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.
Since the vaccinations began in December, South Dakota has consistently ranked in the top five or per capita vaccine administration.
Despite the positive numbers, South Dakota continues to see a stubborn level of new infections.
A week ago the state was averaging 157 cases and now that is up to about 167 cases.
Tripp County has seen an increase in the number of new cases.