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Vaccinations begin for some area residents

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HARTINGTON — Several area residents have already received their COVID-19 vaccinations.

All staff at the Hartington Avera Medica Clinic have been given the option to receive the vaccine at Avera Creighton Hospital, said Jodi Kubal, the Avera Hartington clini manager.

That location was identified by the state in its distribution plan for health care workers at this time.

Area first responders have been getting their vaccinations at Providence Medical Clinic in Wayne.

At this time the general public cannot schedule a vaccine appointment.

The exact timeline for getting the COVID vaccine to the general public remains unknown due to questions about supply.

The tentative vaccination timeline calls for those over the age of 65 with high-risk medical conditions to be vaccinated in March.

At this time, it is anticipated the general public could begin to be vaccinated starting in May.

Avera is in discussions with the state health department about the possibility of supporting its effort to distribute the vaccine to the public from the Hartington clinic. Kubal said she hopes to know more about the state’s distribution plan in the weeks to come.

Dr. David Basel, MD, Vice President of Avera Medical Group Quality said it is critical people get the vaccinations.

“A safe and effective vaccine is a vital step toward ending the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr. Basel. “The more people who get the vaccine, the closer we can get to ‘back to normal’ and see reduced illness and hospitalizations due to this virus. While masking and social distancing are important, a large number of people getting vaccinated is the only way this virus will get under control.”

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