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South Dakota Flu Vaccination Rate Tops Nation

            Office of Gov. Dennis Daugaard

500 E. Capitol Ave.


(605) 773-3212






FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016

CONTACT:  Tony Venhuizen or Kelsey Pritchard at 605-773-3212



South Dakota Flu Vaccination Rate Tops Nation


PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota vaccinated 56.6 percent of its residents during the 2015-2016 season, the highest overall flu vaccination rate in the nation for the third straight year.


The latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data show the national rate was 45.7 percent, well below South Dakota’s rate.


“The number one ranking is a well-earned pat on the back for the doctors, nurses and other providers who promote vaccination. It’s also a credit to South Dakotans, who are taking the flu seriously,” said Gov. Dennis Daugaard. “I’m proud we are number one and I hope this year we can surpass 57 percent.”


The CDC recommends yearly flu vaccination for everyone over the age of six months. Vaccination is especially important for those who are at higher risk for flu complications – pregnant women, people over age 50, people with chronic medical conditions like heart disease and health care workers. Infants under six months are too young to receive the vaccine so the CDC recommends vaccination for their parents, guardians, grandparents and any others who may have contact with them.


South Dakota has a history of high flu vaccination rates, having led the nation for five of the last six flu seasons. While overall rate remained above national rates, we are seeing some decline in the numbers of adults who are getting vaccinated.


“Linda and I get vaccinated every year and I encourage all South Dakotans to do the same,” said the Governor. “Don’t make the mistake of thinking the flu isn’t a serious illness – every year the flu puts some South Dakotans in the hospital and, in extreme cases, lives are lost because of complications. Take the time to get vaccinated.”