Family walking through prairie grass

For You. For Others. For South Dakota.

Very simply put, vaccines protect people from getting sick due to dangerous viruses. Vaccines help protect from serious negative health complications, hospitalization and death. They stimulate the body’s immune system to recognize and fight certain viruses and bacteria – without causing the disease itself. They’ve saved countless lives and reduced health care costs along the way.

  • Vaccines are widely considered to be one of the single most important advances in public health. For caregivers, vaccines are the most powerful tools they have to fulfill their responsibility of keeping families healthy. Even with today’s advanced health care, dangerous viruses still exist. Unvaccinated populations are at greater risk than ever before.
  • Vaccines also stop the spread of disease to the broader public, thereby protecting entire communities from experiencing larger outbreaks. When more people in a community are vaccinated, it creates a condition known as “community immunity” which also serves to protect vulnerable people who are immunocompromised or can’t receive certain vaccines.
  • Vaccines are a cornerstone of public health, with the goal to protect all people and communities. Every caregiver should make the effort to find reliable information to learn more.
  • Like any medication, vaccines can have mild side effects, but these usually go away within a day or two. The most common side effects include a low-grade fever and redness and swelling where the shot was given.
  • Vaccines are needed throughout your life. Review the routine childhood vaccine chart to ensure your child is on track. Adults also need to keep their vaccinations up to date. Review which immunizations you should have. As always, ask your doctor for more information regarding your children’s or your own immunizations.