Over 300 children at free flu shot clinics �? �? �? Brave, nervous smiles and star-shaped Sanford stress balls were plentiful at Vermillion Middle and High Schools this month. �? �? �? Gov. Mike Rounds announced in September that the State of South Dakota would offer free flu vaccine for children aged 6 months to 18 years for the upcoming flu season. South Dakota first launched the campaign during the 07-08 flu season, vaccinating more than 72,000 children, a 300% increase over the previous year. �? �? �? For the second year, Sanford Vermillion partnered with the USD Department of Nursing and the Vermillion School District to offer special childrenâ�?�?s flu shot clinics with vaccine provided by the state. Between the two flu shot events, 344 children were vaccinated. �? �? �? â�?�?Increasing the number of South Dakota children vaccinated against influenza will help reduce sick days for children and parents alike. We were very pleased with the turn out both nights,â�? said Karol Broderson, nurse for the Vermillion School District. �? �? �? The two special clinics provided an opportunity for parents to bring children in for their shots on a walk-in basis and in a fairly quick manner. Child-life specialist, Kari Jo James of Sanford Vermillion was also on hand to help ease the anticipation and anxiety for some of the young patients. �? �? �? â�?�?Our goal was to make these events as convenient as possible for parents to bring their children in to get their flu vaccine. The USD Nursing students did an amazing job,â�? said Amanda Anderson, Wellness/Outreach nurse with Sanford Vermillion and organizer of the two childrenâ�?�?s flu shot clinics. â�?�?It was truly a team effort between the staff at Sanford Vermillion and USD faculty and students that helped make these nights a success.â�? �? �? �? Parents are still able to have their children vaccinated free of charge at any of the public flu clinics being hosted by Sanford Vermillion. The state provided vaccine may also be obtained at the office of your primary care provider. While the vaccine is free, providers may charge an administration fee.