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State crosses 50% vaccination threshold; more adolescents eligible now for vaccine

The South Dakota Department of Health says the state has crossed the 50-percent threshold for the number of adult residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  While this is a milestone, State Epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton said in a conference call Wednesday that the state would like the number of people vaccinated to reach 70-percent.

Clayton said that the state continues to monitor variants in the state, with 142 total reported so far.

State Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said that the vaccine is the best defense against COVID-19 and continuing to slow down its spread.

The state Department of Health announced Wednesday that adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 are now eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccination.  The announcement comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use for this age group.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also recommended this last Monday evening. 

  According to U.S. Census data, more than 48-thousand state residents qualify under this age group.  Under South Dakota law, parental consent is still required to vaccinate minors. 

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