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EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first in a series of five stories about the COVID-19 vaccine and its distribution in South Dakota. You will hear from people who have received the shot, nurses who administered the shot, healthcare officials who have coordinated the distribution and even Rep. Dusty…

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PIERRE — South Dakota remains in Phase 1D of its vaccination plan, with people 65 years and older qualifying for the vaccine. But starting on or about March 8, people younger than 65 with one underlying health condition will be eligible for the vaccine.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine offers strong protection against severe COVID-19, according to an analysis released Wednesday by U.S. regulators that sets the stage for a final decision on a new and easier-to-use shot to help tame the pandemic.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — COVID-19 vaccine makers told Congress on Tuesday to expect a big jump in the delivery of doses over the coming month after a rocky start to inoculations, and the companies insist they will be able to provide enough for most Americans by summer.

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LEAD — Following about a year of closure, Lead City Hall and the Phoebe Apperson Hearst Library will re-open March 1.

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PIERRE — The South Dakota Department of Health has announced that starting on Monday the age of those who qualify to receive their COVID-19 vaccination will be dropping to those who are 65 and over.

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PIERRE — South Dakota will see a 5.4% increase in the number of COVID-19 doses it gets from the federal government in the coming week. And that doesn’t even include the 2,600 doses that 13 retail pharmacies in the state will get to administer to its customers.

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BELLE FOURCHE — The 4.5-acre lot known as the Shopko building in Belle Fourche will soon have new ownership. Firefly Builders, Inc., said their offer to purchase the building has been accepted and they expect to close on the commercial property at a future date.

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SPEARFISH — In an effort unseen in the history of the healthcare network, Monument Health has coordinated with the city of Spearfish to set up a large-scale vaccination distribution center to help expedite the fight against COVID-19.

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BELLE FOURCHE — The Belle Fourche School District is weathering the pandemic storm as well as can be expected, according to Superintendent Steve Willard’s state of the district address during a Jan. 25 meeting.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden told Republican senators during a two-hour meeting he’s unwilling to settle on an insufficient coronavirus aid package after they pitched their slimmed down $618 billion proposal that’s a fraction of the $1.9 trillion he is seeking.

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RAPID CITY — While positive case numbers of COVID-19 continue to fall in South Dakota and the state receives praise for it’s roll out of the vaccine, three “variants” of the virus, which are being tracked throughout the country, have medical professionals interested.

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RAPID CITY — Monument Health announced that it is rolling out a new way for patients to schedule a vaccination or to place their names on a waiting list to be notified  when they can receive the vaccine.

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BELLE FOURCHE –– Many Northern Hills parents are filled with concerns about health, finances, security, and more, but in Belle Fourche, Lunchtime Solutions has gone the extra mile to ensure parents needn’t worry about how they’ll feed their kids.  

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SPEARFISH — makeSPACE is launching its local fundraising effort to encourage people who are able to share a portion of their federal COVID stimulus checks with those in the community that are more financially impacted by the pandemic.