Let me give credit where credit is due. Governor Dennis Daugaard has dedicated his first column of the new year to telling the anti-vaccine crowd that the resurgence of measles is their fault, that they are wrong on science and social responsibility, and that they need to get their shots:

Avoiding vaccination has been a recent trend. As the memory of these diseases fades into the past, too many people seem to forget the risk of not vaccinating children. Unsubstantiated and discredited theories about side effects have created unreasonable anxiety. Medical professionals, repeated scientific studies and organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that vaccination is vital and safe.

I recognize that there are extreme circumstances where a child may not be able to receive specific vaccines because of a severe allergy or condition. In South Dakota, we also allow people to forgo a vaccination for religious reasons. But for the overwhelming majority of people, vaccines are safe and reliable.

Not vaccinating doesn’t just affect you and your kids. It puts others at risk as well. Just as the polio vaccine protected millions of children from disease in the 1950s, vaccines save lives today. Vaccination is just as necessary today as it was decades ago [Gov. Dennis Daugaard, "Vaccinating Saves Lives," press release, 2015.01.02].

This KSFY graphic leaves me wondering whether we've got measles or a chocolate allergy.

This KSFY graphic leaves me wondering whether we've got measles or a chocolate allergy.

I've razzed the Governor, just a little, for not raising the alarm about the anti-vaccers threat to public health. Now he's done just that. Thank you, Governor!

By the way, before the weekend, the Department of Health confirmed nine cases of measles in Mitchell, all in the same extended family, none vaccinated, and none of the children in public school.