Vaccination Is the Best Defense Against the Flu

After a slow start, flu season is under way across the country, and local health officials report increasing numbers of influenza cases across the state.

With a large portion of the flu season still ahead, local public health officials are urging people to practice good respiratory hygiene and get their flu shots.

“Flu vaccines are the most important tool we have for preventing the flu,” said Dr. Jennifer Tinguely, Chief Medical Officer for Falls Community Health and the City of Sioux Falls Health Department. “If you have not yet received your flu vaccine, it is not too late.”

Annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone six months and older, but some groups are at higher risk for complications and should be sure to get vaccinated. High-risk groups include people 65 and older, pregnant women, caregivers, and people with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, and other lung diseases. Household contacts of high-risk populations and people with young infants in their homes should also be vaccinated.

Practicing good respiratory hygiene and frequent hand washing can also decrease your chances of becoming ill. Protecting you and your family from respiratory illness is as easy as following the three Cs:

  • Cover your cough.
  • Clean your hands.
  • Contain germs by staying home when you are ill.

“These practices are especially important with flu activity increasing and family and friends gathering for the holidays,” said Dr. Tinguely.

Wherever you may be going for the holidays, don’t take the flu with you. Immunizations for adults and children are available by appointment at Falls Community Health, 521 North Main Avenue. Make your appointment today by calling 605-367-8793. The clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.