Flu vaccine numbers down in South Dakota compared to 2019

HealthBeat

FILE – In this Thursday, Jan. 23, 2020 file photo, a patient receives an influenza vaccine in Mesquite, Texas. On Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, Alex Azar, the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced that pharmacists in all 50 states will be authorized to give childhood vaccinations this fall, due to a federal order that will temporarily preempt pharmacy restrictions in 22 states. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Health officials gave an update on the influenza vaccine in South Dakota on Tuesday. 

Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon said 252,000 South Dakotans have received the influenza vaccine in 2020. That number is down 6,400 from the same time in 2019. 

“That’s a great number to see, but we’re behind where we were last year,” Malsam-Rysdon said, adding every age group is behind the 2019 numbers except 45- to 64-year-olds. “We really want to see people get vaccinated. It is safe. It’s effective. It’s low cost and it’s readily available.”  

Malsam-Rysdon said flu vaccination helps in the fight against COVID-19 because health care resources won’t have to focus on flu as much. 

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