As influenza illness levels begin to subside across the state, the Rhode Island Department of Health is remindimg all Rhode Islanders that it is not too late to be vaccinated against influenza.
“Although we saw an early spike in influenza cases this flu season, it is important to note that we could see the number of influenza cases rise again before the flu season officially ends in May,” said health department Michael Fine, adding that Rhode Island has seen 769 hospitalizations since the department began tracking confirmed influenza cases on Oct. 1. That number reflects a higher total number of hospitalizations for influenza than initially reported.
“Our original count of hospitalizations did not include some individuals who went to the emergency department with flu-like symptoms, who were later confirmed to have flu and admitted to the hospital,” said Dr. Fine. “These numbers further confirm HEALTH’s message: Influenza is a serious illness and it is important for us to protect each other by getting immunized.”
According to reports made to HEALTH by providers and pharmacies, 470,449 Rhode Islanders have been vaccinated against influenza to date. Since Dec. 10, 2012, 7,846 people have been seen at emergency departments throughout the state for flu-like illness.
If you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, here are some local options:
- CVS Pharmacy at 1993 Plainfield Pike or 1400 Hartford Ave.
- Walgreens at 1387 Plainfield St., 25 Putnam Pike, or 1583 Atwood Ave.
- Rite Aid at 1459 Atwood Ave.
Check here for more locations in the surrounding area.
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