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South Dakota honored by CDC for high adult flu vaccination rate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Wednesday, February 15, 2012
CONTACT:  Bonnie Jameson, (605) 773-3737 


South Dakota honored by CDC for high adult flu vaccination rate

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota has received the Adult Immunization Coverage Award from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for achieving the nation’s highest adult flu vaccination rate for the last flu season. South Dakota vaccinated 56.2 percent of its 18 and over population during the 2010-2011 season. Neighboring Iowa had the next highest rate with 49.7 percent.


The award was presented Feb. 1 at the 2012 Immunization Program Managers Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.


“This is good news for South Dakota and appropriate recognition for all those vaccine providers who work so hard each flu season to immunize those who need it,” said Doneen Hollingsworth, Secretary of Health. “But there are still many more people who could benefit from the protection flu vaccine provides and we’d like to see that rate even higher.”


Annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone, but some groups are at higher risk – pregnant women, people over 50 years and people with chronic medical conditions. Health-care workers and household contacts of high risk populations, especially those with young infants in the household, should also be vaccinated. The state offers free flu vaccine for kids from six months to 18 years. Kids account for a significant number of flu cases and hospitalizations each year and also help spread the illness in the community. 

In addition to an annual flu vaccination, prevent the disease with these steps:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand gel if you can't wash;
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze;
  • Don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth;
  • Stay home if you're sick.

Influenza is a viral respiratory illness marked by the sudden onset of fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose and muscle aches. It spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks, sending the highly contagious virus into the air. Learn more at http://flu.sd.gov.