En español | Who can get vaccinated now?
- Adults 65 and older
- People under the age of 65 with qualifying medical conditions and certain high-risk patients, such as those with active cancer or on dialysis
- High-risk residents in group homes and independent living facilities
- Certain frontline workers, including emergency medical services personnel and law enforcement officers
- Health care workers and residents and staff in nursing homes and assisted living facilities
- More details about eligible groups are available on the state’s COVID-19 website.
Where can I get vaccinated?
- Local hospitals and medical clinics are providing vaccinations through a partnership between health networks and the state. Visit the state’s county-by-county map for links to providers in your area. Keep in mind that different locations will have different sign-up processes for appointments.
- Pharmacies A list of retail pharmacy providers is available online. Certain ones offer online scheduling: Walmart (you’ll need to create an account with your name and email), Hy-Vee.
- Vaccine supplies are limited everywhere and are available only to those now eligible under each state’s phased plan. Most vaccine sites require you to schedule an appointment online or by phone. Appointments can be very hard to get, as available time slots are booked quickly, and you may experience long wait times on the phone. If a time slot is not available, you may be put on the site’s waiting list. Some people are signing up at multiple sites to increase chances of getting an appointment. Once you have a confirmed appointment, public health officials ask that you don’t schedule or confirm another with any other provider so that vaccine appointments stay open for others.
AARP recommends that you ask your doctor about the safety, effectiveness, benefits and risks of the coronavirus vaccine. Older adults, especially those with underlying medical conditions, are at increased risk for hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
What should I bring to my vaccination appointment?
Some vaccination sites ask for proof of identity or eligibility. Officials recommend that you bring a driver’s license or other state-issued ID that shows your name, age and state residency, and your health insurance card, if you have one. You will not be charged, but the vaccine provider may bill your insurer for giving the shot.
If you are eligible due to an underlying medical condition or comorbidity, you may need a note from your doctor or some other form of proof. If you are eligible based on your job, bring proof of employment, such as a pay stub, badge or letter from your employer.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says to wear a mask at your appointment.
Who will be eligible to get vaccinated next?
Funeral service workers and teachers and other school staff are next in line and are expected to become eligible for vaccination in late March, according to the state’s most recent timeline.
AARP is fighting for older Americans to be prioritized in getting one of the COVID-19 vaccines because the science shows that older people are at higher risk of death from the coronavirus.
How will residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities get vaccinated?
Most residents and staff of long-term care facilities in South Dakota are being vaccinated through a federal program that contracted with CVS and Walgreens to administer the two-dose COVID-19 vaccines at free on-site clinics.
Nationally, almost all nursing homes, which were given first priority, have completed their vaccination clinics. Most assisted living and other long-term care facilities are conducting their final clinics. All the vaccination clinics are slated to wrap up by late March.
I’ve heard that some vaccines require a second shot.
The COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna require two doses. If you get one of these, you’ll need a follow-up dose to be effectively immunized. The recommended second-shot date is three weeks after a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and four weeks for Moderna’s, but the CDC says an interval of up to six weeks is acceptable. You should get a card from your provider saying when to return for the second dose. Bring this card to your second appointment.
Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine requires just one shot.
It’s not yet known how long immunity from a coronavirus vaccine lasts and whether it needs to be given regularly, like a flu shot.
Do I have to pay for the vaccination?
You should not have any out-of-pocket cost for being vaccinated. AARP fought to make sure the federal government is covering the cost of the vaccine itself. Providers could recoup a fee for administering the shots, but they would be reimbursed by the patient’s insurance company or the government (in the case of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries and the uninsured, for example).
Scammers are purporting to offer COVID vaccines and treatments and trying to charge for them. AARP's Fraud Watch Network is tracking the latest scams.
Should I still wear a mask after getting vaccinated?
Yes. Experts still need to learn more about the protection the vaccines provide under real-world conditions, the CDC says. It could take your body a few weeks to build up immunity after the second dose.
The vaccine is just one tool that can help slow the spread of the coronavirus. The CDC says it could take months for the population to build up immunity and continues to recommend preventive measures such as face masks and social distancing.
In addition, it’s not yet clear how effective the vaccines are against new, more contagious strains of the coronavirus initially identified in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil and elsewhere, although they would still provide some protection.
This guide, originally published Jan. 21, was updated March 4 with information about vaccination eligibility and vaccination efforts in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
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