December 2–8 is National Influenza Vaccination Week. This week focuses
on highlighting the importance of influenza vaccination. A few quick facts include:
- Everyone aged 6 months and older should receive the flu vaccine every season.
- Flu vaccine prevents illnesses, doctor’s visits, and missed work
and school due to flu, as well as flu-related hospitalizations and deaths.
- The flu vaccine was 40% effective at helping people avoid illness due to
influenza last season, despite early concerns about effectiveness.
More vaccination benefits are seen within certain groups including:
- Vaccination reduces flu-associated death by 65% among healthy kids and
51% among children with underlying medical conditions.
- Vaccination reduces risk of flu hospitalization among pregnant women by 40%.
- Vaccination reduces risk of hospital admission by 37% among adults aged
18 years and older, and risk of admission to the ICU by 82%.
- Among adults admitted to the hospital with flu, vaccination reduces risk
of admission to the ICU by 59% and decreases the ICU length of stay by 4 days.
SD-DOH has reported 36 lab-confirmed influenza A and B infections, 8 hospitalizations,
and 1 death for the season. Monitor the flu bug at:
South Dakotans received fewer flu vaccinations last season (2017–2018)
compared to the previous year.
- Older adults (65 years and older): 12.5% decrease in flu vaccination to 47.7%
- Adults (aged 18–64 years): 7.8% decrease in flu vaccination to 37.7%
- Children (aged 6 months–17 years): 1.2% increase in flu vaccination to 64.4%
Steps to avoid becoming ill with influenza:
- Visit your local clinician, pharmacy, or community flu vaccination event
to receive your influenza vaccination.
- Prevent the spread of germs by washing your hands with soap and water (or
alcohol-based hand gel), not touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, and covering
your cough or sneeze (into your elbow).
- If you become ill, stay home while sick and take antiviral drugs if prescribed
by your doctor.