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Monument Health launches coronavirus vaccine waitlist

A view of the hospital from the Fifth Street entrance.
A view of the hospital from the Fifth Street entrance.(Connor Matteson)
Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 1:10 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Just over a month ago, the first COVID vaccine made its way into Americans’ arms.

South Dakota is currently in phase 1D of the vaccination process, giving the shot to people 80 years and older, high-risk patients on dialysis, post-transplant, and currently getting cancer treatments, and those living in congregate settings.

Phase 1D of South Dakota’s COVID-19 vaccine process is the first opportunity to vaccinate members in the general public. With this came an overwhelming response from the community.

“As we rolled out the vaccination opportunity to the 1D category, so part of the general public, we saw a lot of response from the community which was fabulous, but it meant that we really couldn’t support the demand at the time,” said Dr. Stephanie Lahr, Monument Health’s chief information officer and chief medical information officer. “We received 12,000 phone calls in a four-hour period.”

As average joes and janes wait for the opportunity to get the shot, a website was created, vaccineregister.monument.health.

“We’ve created a website for registration that will put the patient on a waitlist so that when they meet the criteria, we can contact them,” said Lahr. “We think this will really benefit the community from the perspective of avoiding long wait times when they call us to let us.”

Whether 23 or 85, in Bison or Batesland, a Monument Health or Horizon Health patient; anyone in western South Dakota can sign up for the waitlist.

“This registration waitlist is available to every community member across all of western South Dakota and the Black Hills. It doesn’t matter where you receive care, who your primary care physician is, or even if you don’t routinely receive medical care,” said Lahr. “We are also hopeful that if the community robustly participates in the waitlist, we’ll actually be able to work more closely with the state in providing them very valuable information on who in our area wants to be vaccinated and therefore how quickly we may be able to go through those groups.”

Monument Health staff also said they are also moving their vaccination efforts to larger spaces in Rapid City and Spearfish starting next month.

“We are going to be moving our vaccination efforts to the Rushmore Mall in the former Herberger’s space,” said Scott Peterson, Monument Health’s senior director of ambulatory and pharmacy operations. “The space that we’re currently utilizing, which is the old heart and vascular institute on 5th street, we max out at about 3000 vaccinations a week, by moving to the Herberger’s location, the former Herbergers location, we’ll be able to do 7000 to 10,000 vaccinations a week.”

On February 8th, vaccination efforts will move to the old Herberger’s location in the Rushmore Mall.

Waiting to get vaccinated for COVID-19? Jump on Monument Health’s waiting list.

The health system said Thursday that it would notify patients when they can get vaccinated as South Dakota continues to administer COVID-19 vaccines. Monument Health will also assist those on the waiting list in scheduling their vaccination when the time comes.

Patients, regardless of which vaccination phase their in, must fill out a form. Those who qualify to receive the vaccine right away will be contacted as appointments open up each week.

“Individuals who are not yet eligible to schedule appointments are still encouraged to fill out the form now,” Monument Health said in a press release.

GET ON THE WAITLIST: Fill out a form

The state is currently vaccinating South Dakotans who are at-risk, 80 and over and people receiving care for cancer, transplant and dialysis as part of the Phase 1D. The state is also vaccinating anyone eligible in Phase 1A and 1C. People in this group who have not yet been vaccinated can go to vaccineregister.monument.health, the healthcare provider said.

The next subgroup was identified as individuals who are 75 years and older. DOH announced it would continue to expand eligibility in five-year increments until South Dakota has completed vaccinations of everyone in Phase 1D, which includes anyone age 65 and older. The Department of Health has an infographic of who qualifies for which group in South Dakota.

Vaccination is by appointment only, Monument Health said.

Individuals who do not have access to the internet can still be added to the waitlist by calling the Nurse Triage Line at 605-755-1350. Monument Health asks that people call only if they do not have access to the internet because a large number of calls will limit the hotline’s ability to schedule those at-risk people who are now eligible.

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