Sioux Falls Health Department, Helpline Center Partner to Increase Access to COVID-19 Vaccine
With the community still working to address the spread of COVID-19, the Sioux Falls Health Department and Helpline Center announced an additional way to enhance people’s access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Starting immediately, any person, organization, or business wanting to partner with the Health Department to hold an on-site, home, or community-based COVID-19 vaccination event for a group of individuals can call 2-1-1 to make a request. Also, anyone living in Sioux Falls who is facing any barrier to accessing a COVID-19 vaccine can simply call the Helpline Center at 2-1-1 to identify a convenient way for them to get vaccinated. People can also go directly to the Sioux Falls Heath Department’s webpage at siouxfalls.org/vaccinerequest to request an on-site, home, or community-based vaccination event for a group of individuals.
“We know that most COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths now are among those who are unvaccinated,” said Dr. Charles Chima, Public Health Director for the City of Sioux Falls. “While people can access free vaccinations at clinics and local pharmacies, we want to remove any other barriers keeping people from receiving the vaccine.”
The Helpline Center has supported the community since the start of the pandemic, serving as a central point for people to call with questions about everything from testing and vaccinations to other resources such as access to food and mental health support.
“The Helpline Center is proud to be a resource for our community,” said Janet Kittams, director of the Helpline Center. “With just one free phone call, 24 hours a day, people can access a wealth of information.
“If individuals have been putting off getting the vaccine,” said Chima, “now is the time. If you are unvaccinated, you are at risk. The vaccine is safe and effective, it is free, and now we can bring it right to you.”
Being vaccinated can significantly reduce a person’s risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19. In addition to getting a COVID-19 vaccine, people should also continue to focus on mitigation efforts like good hand hygiene, wearing masks, and avoiding large crowds.