Here is what we know:
- There are two ways a South Dakota school employee can receive a COVID-19 vaccine: through a local participating pharmacy or through one of the state’s partner healthcare providers.
- All school employees are eligible to receive a vaccine immediately at one of the participating pharmacies. President Biden made this possible through a directive to the Federal Pharmacy Program, which happened at the urging of the three-million members of the NEA including the members of SDEA.
- These pharmacies are receiving the vaccines directly from the Federal Government. The South Dakota Department of Health does not control this program.
- Educators may want to contact a participating pharmacy as soon as possible. Pharmacists may give educators the vaccine if they have them available. Vaccines are on a first come- first serve basis. Educators are encouraged to check with the local pharmacy to see if an appointment is necessary.
- The vaccine allocation to the pharmacies has been increased. The allotment does include the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
- Educators may IMMEDIATELY receive the vaccine through one of the state’s healthcare providers, which included Monument Health, Avera, Sanford, Mobridge Hospital, and the Northern Plains Health Network: Beadle & Sanborn, Brookings, Codington, Lake.
- The partner healthcare providers will reach out to local school districts with instructions on how district staff can receive the vaccine. It is up to each provider and school district to determine the best way to distribute the vaccine. The providers may choose to come to the school district to give all the employees the vaccine or the provider may give the district a link for each individual staff member to make an appointment on their own. Check with your local administrator for more information.
- Click here to learn more about the providers in your area.
Having the vaccine immediately available through your local pharmacy is exciting news. Again, this comes at the urging of the three million educators across the country including SDEA members. We believe this will go a long way in meeting President Biden’s goal of getting at least one shot to every educator who wants the vaccine by the end of March.
Educators who have questions or concerns about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine should contact their local UniServ Director.