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.