Thousands of health care workers across the Sanford Health service area have already received their COVID-19 vaccine. Earlier this month, many of them received their second dose of the vaccine. But when will patients know it’s their turn to get the vaccine?
For patients of Sanford Health, the health system will notify patients when the vaccine is available for them. For those who are signed up and use the My Sanford Chart app, they will be notified through the app.
“That will alert you as to when you can sign up to make an appointment,” said Dr. Michael Wilde, the vice president medical officer for Sanford Health in Sioux Falls. “You can do it right in the app, and then you can also make your follow-up appointment and you’ll get reminders with that as well.”
If patients aren’t signed up for the My Sanford Chart app, they will still be notified. Patients will receive a letter and a voice message or text message to schedule their vaccine appointment when a dose is available for them.
Patients cannot schedule a vaccine appointment until after they receive a notification from Sanford.
At the Good Samaritan Society, an affiliate of Sanford Health, CVS and Walgreens currently provide COVID-19 vaccines on-site at all locations. They will be free of charge to residents and staff. This service is possible through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program.
Your Good Samaritan Society location’s administrator will contact you when it’s time for your vaccine.
If you are not a patient of a health system or if you are unsure and would like to get the COVID-19 vaccine, please complete the form to join the vaccine waiting list.
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Dr. Wilde recommends residents and patients be vaccinated as soon as it’s their turn.
“As I sit here wearing a mask, you know, performing the hand hygiene and we’re sitting apart from each other — those are things that help, but as you look around the country and look around the world, we’re still in a pretty significant pandemic,” said Dr. Wilde. “The vaccine is effective and safe. Aside from the things you’re currently doing today, which people have done a great job of, the vaccine is really going to put us on a path towards getting this pandemic out of the world finally.”
Follow up with second dose
After patients receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Wilde says it’s important to make sure the second dose is received on schedule. If patients are receiving the Pfizer vaccine, that means the second dose should be received 21 days after the first dose. For patients receiving the Moderna vaccine, that means the second dose should be received 28 days after the first dose.
“The recommendation right now is to have those be pretty hard deadlines,” said Dr. Wilde. “But again, life happens, so if it is a couple of days later that’s fine. But we do try and line up those follow-up vaccines as close as possible because that is how it’s been rolled out under the emergency use authorization.”
The first dose of a vaccine jump-starts a person’s immune response by spurring the production of antibodies. The second dose helps the body to create even more antibodies, thereby strengthening the immune response.
“When you get vaccinated, the first dose gets about half of the people vaccinated immunity to COVID,” Dr. Wilde said. “The second dose jumps that up to about 95%. And so, 95% of people after that second dose will have antibodies to COVID, and based on the clinical trials are then immune to COVID.”
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