Avera Health opens online platform for COVID-19 vaccine appointments

Marcus Traxler, The Daily Republic, Mitchell, S.D.
·2 min read

Mar. 26—Vaccinations in South Dakota have opened to group 1E and Avera has launched online appointments for the public.

Group 1E includes fire service personnel and other critical infrastructure workers:

* Water and wastewater

* Energy

* Finance

* Food service

* Food and agriculture

* Legal

* Manufacturing

* Shelter and housing

* Transportation and logistics

* Information technology

* Communications

South Dakota residents seeking vaccination can now go to Avera.org/covid-vaccine and click on the online form to sign up for a vaccine appointment. There is also a chat feature in English and Spanish to help people determine if they're eligible for a vaccine.

After answering screening questions to ensure qualification for the vaccine, individuals select their community and can see available appointment times. Available vaccine appointments will indicate the manufacturer of the vaccine. (Avera said there is high demand for vaccines at some locations. If no appointment times display, all appointments have been filled.) Additional appointments will be added as vaccine allocations are received. There is no out-of-pocket cost for vaccines.

People in groups 1A-1D can also sign up for vaccine appointments if they have not yet been vaccinated. These groups includes health care and EMS workers, law enforcement, people age 65 and older, people with underlying medical conditions, school or college teachers or staff, high-risk residents in congregate living environments, and funeral service workers.

People need to be vaccinated in the state in which they live or work.

"Avera is operating vaccine clinics in numerous communities across South Dakota, and we've designed our website to match people who qualify with available vaccine appointments. If you don't find an available appointment, please try back again, because demand currently is high," said Dr. David Basel, Vice President of Avera Medical Group Quality.

"We encourage people to look into all options in your community and/or county and get the vaccine as soon as it is available to you. All approved vaccines are proven to be safe and effective," Basel said.