SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — U.S. Census data shows there are more than 48,000 young people who are now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine in South Dakota.
The state Department of Health has announced that adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 can receive the Pfizer vaccine.
The announcement came after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday authorized the emergency use of the Pfizer vaccine for that age group.
“Given vaccines have proven safe and effective, offering them to this age group is yet another way to protect our citizens and our communities against COVID-19,” said Daniel Bucheli, health department spokesman.
Twelve-year-old Drew Pociask, from Sioux Falls, was Sanford Health’s first vaccine recipient in that age group and was inoculated Wednesday evening.
Pociask is the son of Sanford Health’s director of operations and said he was excited to get the shot because online classes aren’t very fun.
Pociask will start seventh grade at O’Gorman Junior High School next school year, and apart from that was excited to be one step closer to being around his grandparents more.
The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses.
South Dakota health officials say half the state’s adult population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. That’s more than 304,000 people.