Mayor Scott Avedisian is joining public health officials to remind residents to make sure they and their loved ones are up-to-date on their vaccinations. Residents are encouraged to contact their doctors (and their children’s doctors) to ensure vaccinations are up-to-date.
There are several free public vaccinations being offered in Warwick: Monday, Jan. 13 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Pilgrim Senior Center, 27 Pilgrim Parkway and Wednesday, Jan. 23, from 5-7 p.m. at the Buttonwoods Community Center, 3027 West Shore Road. These clinics are being run by the City of Warwick in collaboration with the Rhode Island Department of Health. It is a chance to get these very important vaccinations.
Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) vaccine protects against pertussis (also known as “whooping cough”) and will be available for everyone 11 years of age and older. There has been a nationwide increase in pertussis cases, with small clusters in Rhode Island this year. Pertussis is a contagious disease that can cause illness and sometimes death, especially in infants.
Flu vaccine will help you avoid the seasonal flu this year. Everyone older than six months of age, even those who are healthy, needs a flu shot every year. It is especially important for pregnant women and people who have chronic illnesses to get vaccinated now. The flu hits Rhode Island hardest in January and February every year. The flu vaccine will be available in the form of a shot or FluMist (nasal spray).
Pneumococcal vaccine prevents pneumonia. People ages 65 and older should get this vaccine, but it is especially important for everyone 19 years and older who smokes or has asthma to get vaccinated.
There is no out-of-pocket cost for these vaccinations. Anyone who is insured should bring his or her insurance card; however, health insurance is not a requirement for vaccination. No one will be turned away for a lack of health insurance.
If you have any questions about vaccines, contact the Rhode Island Department of Health at 222-5960/RI Relay 711 or visit www.health.ri.gov/immunization. If you have questions about the clinic, contact Pat Seltzer RN at 468-4103 or by email at email@example.com.