For Immediate Release: December 8, 2021
National Influenza Vaccination Week
Observed December 5-11, 2021
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Department of Health is recognizing National Influenza Vaccination Week by inviting all South Dakotans (6 months or older) to get their annual flu vaccine before the week’s end. Additionally, for qualifying residents who have not received their COVID-19 vaccine, the Department emphasized that both vaccines can be taken simultaneously, for added convenience.
“We want all South Dakotans strong and healthy during the holidays and beyond. Give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind by getting your flu and COVID-19 vaccine,” said Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon.
Influenza, like COVID-19, is a viral infection spread by respiratory droplets released when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Common signs and symptoms of the flu include a fever of 100 degrees or greater, cough, sore throat, headache, fatigue, body or muscle aches, and runny or stuffy nose.
An average of 39 South Dakotan deaths are reported to the Department of Health following influenza infections each year. Groups like pregnant women, children younger than five years, people over 65 years, and people with chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for flu-related complications, such as pneumonia, hospitalization, and death.
In addition to vaccination, other helpful tips to help prevent the spread of the flu include:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand gel;
• Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze;
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; and
• Stay home if you are sick.