Gov. Dennis Daugaard and First Lady Linda Daugaard rolled up their sleeves today to get vaccinated against the flu, and they urge all others to do the same.
"As new grandparents, we've learned that babies younger than six months are too young to get the flu vaccine but are at high risk for complications if they get sick with the flu," the Governor said. "Grandparents should protect themselves and their infant grandchildren by getting vaccinated, and we encourage everyone else to do likewise."
South Dakota has already confirmed four cases of influenza, all in children. Children account for a significant number of flu cases and hospitalizations each year and also spread flu in communities. The state provides free flu vaccine for all kids from six months to 18 years of age.
Yearly flu vaccinations are recommended for everyone, but some groups are at higher risk for complications, including young infants. Pregnant women, people older than 50 and those with chronic medical conditions are also at higher risk.
The state Health Department says South Dakotans can help prevent spreading the flu by practicing common sense measures such as frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when ill. Learn more about flu prevention at flu.sd.gov