The flu is serious business. But after learning that the last thing people want is “a shot,” we took a more lighthearted approach. The face of the influenza campaign became a disheveled but loveable character called “Flu Bug,” who developed a cult-like following over the years. He appeared everywhere and we even took him on statewide tours to spread awareness. The results have been amazing as many states now look to South Dakota as the benchmark of effectiveness in flu prevention.
South Dakota was experiencing a particularly rough flu season in 2009, with more than 2,000 confirmed cases thanks in part to the H1N1 pandemic. The Department of Health needed to turn it around by increasing vaccination awareness.
Increase influenza vaccinations across the state, including rates among healthcare workers, adults and senior citizens, and promote free vaccines for children.
South Dakota reached a 57.4% vaccination rate in one recent year, ranking No. 1 among all states
69% drop in SD flu cases over the past 5 years
Facebook fans grew from 0 to more than 5,000
15% increase in SD kids’ flu vaccinations in the past 5 years