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Monument Health encourages vaccination, boosters as hospitals fill up

A low vaccination rate in Wyoming’s Campbell County is causing hospitals there to overflow with...
A low vaccination rate in Wyoming’s Campbell County is causing hospitals there to overflow with patients.(KOTA)
Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 6:21 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - More than 2,000 people in the state of South Dakota have died from the COVID-19 virus since the start of the pandemic, and more than 1,000 have died in Wyoming.

A low vaccination rate in Wyoming’s Campbell County is causing hospitals there to overflow with patients.

The vaccination rate in Wyoming remains at just under 40%. That rate is even lower in the Gillette area, with Campbell County Memorial Hospital having to cancel elective surgeries because of patient overflow.

The urgency of getting people vaccinated is rising even as booster shots are rolling out.

Scott Peterson, the lead pharmacist at Monument Health, said that booster shots have proven to be beneficial in all age groups.

“For people aged 65 years or older, they can get some more protection against being hospitalized or having severe COVID disease,” Peterson said. “With younger populations, there’s possible less transmission that occurs by getting a booster shot.”

The CDC Thursday began recommending Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters.

Peterson said that the main battle in the fight against the pandemic is to get more people their initial dose.

“Those people that haven’t been vaccinated yet; we really want to encourage them to be vaccinated,” Peterson said. “That is the highest priority at this point in time than even the boosters.”

In South Dakota, 52% of people 12 and older are fully vaccinated.

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