This St. Patty's Day, a large number of people here in South Dakota are looking for shots, and I'm not talking about the Irish Whiskey kind.

The search for the COVID-19 vaccine is on most everyone's mind these days, and here in South Dakota, we continue to make very good progress in that department.

The South Dakota Department of Health announced on Tuesday (March 16) that we are closing in on vaccinating nearly 200,000 South Dakotans against COVID-19.

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Dakota News Now reports 34% of the state’s population has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot. So far in the state,198,434 residents have been vaccinated. Of that number, 109,648 people have completed both doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine. Another 3,362 South Dakotans have been inoculated with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which only requires one shot to be given.

COVID cases in the state are up slightly. According to Dakota News Now, there were 143 new COVID-19 cases in the state as of Tuesday. When you factor in Tuesday's new cases, the state total now sits at 114,791. The South Dakota Department of Health reports that 110,735 of those cases are considered recovered, 2,144 remain active.

Dakota News Now says there are currently 69 people in the state that are hospitalized as a result of the virus, bringing the statewide hospitalization total to 6,809 since the pandemic began.

South Dakota's COVID-19 death toll remains at 1,912.

Source: Dakota News Now

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.