Will the City of Sioux Falls & Minnehaha County provide a public vaccination site?

I know I have touched on this recently, but what I have been hearing from people who have been vaccinated (because they are in the correct category) is that people who are not patients of the two major health systems in Sioux Falls are NOT being contacted for their vaccination appointment. Some have even reached out to Falls Community Health and have been told they can’t get one there. On January 17th in a FB video, Mayor TenHaken said the city will be relying on the two systems to do the vaccinations and get a hold of patients to schedule them. He said they are ‘the professionals’ which is true, but also added ‘you don’t want government doing this.’

This is not right for many reasons;

• In the past mass vaccinations were handled by the Federal government in partnership with private volunteers, hospitals, local governments and pharmacies.

• As Federal taxpayers we paid for these vaccines and their Federal distribution there is NO reason why there shouldn’t be a public option for those who don’t use our two major health systems.

• We have the money to do a public site as proven with the almost half-million the city has already spent in ‘education’ programs.

• Privacy issues. Many people who don’t use the private systems don’t want them to have that information which they may use for patient recruitment.

I won’t make this argument about how much money the health systems will make from this, I really don’t care at this point, and it is moot. This is about citizens being able to have every option possible to receive a vaccination, whether they get it at the two hospitals, a private pharmacy, Falls Community Health or a drive-thru site ran by Feds. I also think that as a community we are better than this, we have the money and the resources to provide this, and ethically we should.

Once again I am disappointed that Mayor TenHaken, the county leadership and others in state government just pass the buck on covid prevention and leadership to the private sector. While I appreciate all the great work they have done, it really needs to be a true partnership not a passing of the buck.

I’m hoping the Biden administration and the Feds get involved and force the city and county to provide a public option, even if they have to throw more money at this epidemic. Let’s face it folks, our economy and lives will never get back to normal until we can provide immunity to almost everyone, and sitting on our hands while the private sector handles this is just not acceptable, but unfortunately with most local government issues, predictable.


#1 Very Stable Genius on 01.22.21 at 2:03 pm

Noem has actually received some positive national press on this issue. I can’t find the article that I recently read, but the article notes how she turned the vaccination program over to the major health care systems in our state by removing the state – a perceived unnecessary middleman – from the equation. But you are right, if you are not a part of one of these health care systems, or do not have the necessary internet access, you could, or will, fall through the vaccine game plan in South Dakota.

#2 l3wis on 01.22.21 at 3:36 pm

And that is my worry. While I appreciate our hospitals really stepping up, I look at this vaccine as a public right, especially when 1) we are paying for it as taxpayers and 2) vaccinating everyone willing to get it will benefit us all. I think it is silly we are not opening at least ONE public site for those who don’t go to our local hospitals. Like most things the neo-cons run the poorest in our community will fall thru the cracks and Paul and Kristi don’t seem to care.

#3 Very Stable Genius on 01.22.21 at 5:00 pm

It’s also my understanding that Sanford, Avera, and Monument have all been given counties to be responsible for even if they are not situated in some of those counties. So this begs the question: Who is overseeing to make sure everyone is covered in those given counties, especially if a health care system does not have a normal presence there and the state government isn’t present?

#4 l3wis on 01.22.21 at 6:05 pm

But isn’t Freedom and Liberty great!!!!???

I also heard the Health Director is retiring, in the middle of a pandemic.

#5 Very Stable Genius on 01.22.21 at 7:03 pm

Hey, what is it that they say? Oh yah, “Live free, then die from covid”. I believe that’s the NH moto, too, isn’t it?

Yep, retiring in the middle of a pandemic. #YouCanTakeOverNow #HalfTermPalin #IDontLikeIDontLike #PopeBenedictGoesByeBye

( and Woodstock adds: “Is anyone else as excited as I am about the ‘Downtown Burger Battle’?”….)

#6 Mike Lee Zitterich on 01.22.21 at 7:04 pm

You do realize, that most everyone whom has been placed on the “Contact Tracing” Database will be allowed to obtain Free Vaccinations and any additional treatment the State so desires them to get. This was the intent of the “Contact Tracing”, to place as many names on a database within the Dept. of Health System.

For every person whom got a positive covid-19 test, they, the State were actively reaching out to them, in order to create a list of persons you would have contacted within the previous 10 days of the test, This then allows the State to ‘assess’ how many people would be or could be infected, which then tells the GOVERNOR how many “Vaccines” she needs to obtain from the Federal Government of whom is controlling the process, while the “State” has to manage that process within the State.

The Governor has managed this process very well, working with the Local Governments and their Local Health Providers very effectively to provide this service to whom wants it.

The State is only getting so many “vaccines”, so many federal dollars to manage this program. This was the intent all along with the “Contact Tracing”, and why the State was so aggressively administrating COVID TESTS between August thru November, and why you now have seen a much lower # of covid tests and infected people since.

For those whom do not wish to get the vaccine, the Federal Govt will most likely step in when Congress passes the “Immunity Passports” early this spring; which will in the eyes of the FEDS will hopefully encourage AMericans to get the vaccine, cause then they get the Privilege via recieving the “Certificate of Vaccination” that they can travel thru out the United States and Abroad.

Mike Zitterich

#7 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 01.22.21 at 7:26 pm

Since Minnehaha County is known to be ‘harde’. Is Sanford really prepared? Personally, I am looking for a county that can handle the Sputnik shot, that’s where I’ll be heading. I believe there are four different types of vaccines and many variants of the virus, too, so what is a guy to do? Would a guy be better off going to Butte or staying put in Potter? And if you are Moody, there’s always Hand.

#8 D@ily Spin on 01.22.21 at 9:42 pm

If you appear at Public Comment or have a city critical blog, you’ll be last to get the vaccine. Not true but don’t drink the KoolAid.

#9 Holiday Spike on 01.26.21 at 1:20 pm

Speaking of Covid, isnt it odd that since the election, our #’s have fallen drastically? Thanksgiving surge….nope, Christmas surge….nada. California opening up. New York opening up. Beetle juice wants Illinois to open up.

Hiden Biden says we can’t control it….yet that was just about the only campaign promise he had, he was going to rid us of Wuhan in the first 100 days, well besides killing jobs and raising gas prices. Check and check, job well done Joe!!!

Scott, you also were blathering about living wages…does a union welding job count?