The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) will be teaming up with cities and towns over the next six weeks to offer vaccinations at no cost at 19 immunizations clinics throughout the state. The clinics will also help cities and towns test their public health emergency preparedness plans.
Flu vaccine, Tdap (which protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), and pneumococcal vaccine (which protects against pneumonia) will be available at all locations. Insurance is not required for vaccinations, though people with insurance are asked to bring their insurance cards. The clinics are open to children and adults. They will run on individual dates from November 5 to December 14.
"The flu is a serious illness that can spread easily. Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu shot every year. If you have not been vaccinated yet, this is a great chance to protect yourself and the ones you love," said Director of Health Michael Fine, M.D. "Pertussis, which is also known as whooping cough, can also be dangerous. Pertussis often spreads from adults to infants. Anyone who is around an infant, or who will be around an infant, should get a pertussis shot. This includes pregnant women."
Who should get a flu shot? - Everyone older than six months of age. - Flu shots are especially important for pregnant women, the elderly, healthcare workers, and people with long-term medical conditions. Examples of long-term medical conditions are asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.
Who should get a Tdap vaccination? - All pregnant women should receive Tdap with each pregnancy from their prenatal care provider, if they are more than 26 weeks pregnant. If a prenatal provider does not provide Tdap, a public clinic is an option to receive the vaccine. - Anyone who spends time with an infant. - Anyone 11 years of age or older who has never received a dose of Tdap.
Who should get pneumococcal vaccine? - Any adult who smokes or has asthma. - Anyone 65 years of age or older (even if they have previously been vaccinated). - Babies and young children should also get vaccinated against pneumonia, however the type of pneumococcal vaccine that they receive will not be available at these public clinics. Parents should contact their children's doctors about these shots.
People are able to receive multiple vaccines at the same time.