Sanford Health to offer first COVID-19 vaccine to the public

Jon Berg
Sanford Health Media Relations
605-366-2432 /

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Jan. 18, 2021 – Sanford Health will begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals that fall in to the phase 1D category on Monday, Jan. 18, beginning with South Dakota residents 80 years and older.

“This is another historic and exciting milestone in our efforts to defeat this pandemic,” said Dr. Michael Wilde, vice president medical officer for Sanford Health in Sioux Falls. “This is a moment we have been waiting months for and we’re pleased to begin offering the vaccine to the public.”

How soon people will be able to receive the vaccine depends on the amount available and where people fit in to each priority group. Priority groups are set by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and South Dakota Department of Health. Priority groups are established based on occupation, age and those with certain health conditions, as they are most at risk for COVID-19. People at high risk will be prioritized first.

“The vaccine is safe and effective,” Dr. Wilde said. “Aside from the things we’ve been doing for months now, such as frequent hand washing, wearing a mask and social distancing, the vaccine is really the last leg of the race towards ending this pandemic and returning to a new sense of normal.”

Sanford Health will notify people when the vaccine is available for them. Those who meet the requirements of phase 1D will receive a phone call or My Sanford Chart message when they are eligible to set up their vaccine appointment. People are encouraged to enroll in a My Sanford Chart account if they do not already have one as this is the fastest and most efficient way to communicate. To enroll in My Sanford Chart, visit

People will be observed on-site for 15 minutes after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The most common side effects are injection site pain, soreness and swelling. The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine should be received 21 days after the first dose. The second dose of the Moderna vaccine should be received 28 days after the first dose.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit and the CDC.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health, one of the largest health systems in the United States, is dedicated to the integrated delivery of health care, genomic medicine, senior care and services, global clinics, research and affordable insurance. Headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the organization includes 46 hospitals, 1,400 physicians and more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations in 26 states and 10 countries. Learn more about Sanford Health’s transformative work to improve the human condition at or Sanford Health News.