The flu claimed more lives in South Dakota last season than when the H1N1 pandemic caused a worldwide flurry of activity, and sent people scrambling to receive a flu shot.
As cold and flu season sets in, you can bet on additional activity at KELOLAND pharmacies. That includes the Medicap Pharmacy in Hartford. Pharmacist Vince Reilly is encouraging those who enter his business to get a flu shot.
"It's one of the most misunderstood products available in medicine but it is probably the most valuable medicine that we have," Reilly said.
Whether you roll up your sleeve at a doctor's office, pharmacy or at a clinic event, Reilly says the clock is now ticking if you want the maximum amount of protection from the flu when you might need it the most.
"Once Thanksgiving and Christmas roll around, the families will start swapping germs and we're going to start seeing it in the area. You should get your vaccine at least two weeks before those holidays so the vaccine is fully effective before you come into contact with people who do have the flu," Reilly said.
"I did get the flu and the pneumonia shot this year, I am proud to say," Ashley Goldhammer said.
Not many 27-year-olds would make that statement, but then, not many people her age have been through what Ashley Goldhammer experienced in the last year. Today she attends occupational therapy twice a week as she continues to recover from a life-threatening battle with the flu.
"I have people coming up to me all the time telling me that they've gotten their flu shot because of me and I've changed their life in a way and it's amazing," Goldhammer said.
And as she works to educate and encourage others to get flu shots, she's making the best of a tough situation.