Monument Health To Be Among First SD Recipients Of COVID Vaccine Posted by John Axtell Date: December 14, 2020 152 Views Healthcare workers with Monument Health will be among the first in South Dakota to receive the Pfizer vaccine with a box of 975 doses expected to arrive in the Black Hills in the next day or two. The SD Dept of Health plans to vaccinate staff at hospitals, nursing homes, and long-term care centers who provide direct medical care and other services directly to COVID-19 patients. It is estimated that more than 3,000 people in western South Dakota qualify for the region’s 975 initial doses, but new shipments are expected to arrive regularly in the coming weeks. Vaccination is not mandatory for caregivers, but Monument Health President and CEO Paulette Davidson strongly encourages all of those in the priority groups to consider taking it. Davidson calls the vaccine “the beginning of the end of this pandemic,” but emphasizes that it will take months to manufacture enough doses for widespread public vaccination, so continued precautions are needed.