Taking no chances with the flu


The state Department of Health continues to urge people to get vaccinated for the flu that arrived early and has been especially virulent this season. As of Monday, the department reported that 459,558 Rhode Islanders have been vaccinated or about 46 percent of the population. The department reported that since Dec. 10, 6,593 Rhode Islanders have visited emergency departments with flu-like systems and that 474 have been hospitalized with the flu. This compares with a total of 90 hospitalizations last year. Those without insurance or underinsured have been receiving the vaccination at the Pilgrim Senior Center from Patricia Seltzer, RN, who will schedule an appointment for the shot. The health department website also has a listing of clinics. A local clinic will be held Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lower commons of the CCRI Knight Campus. Here, Seltzer administers vaccine to Robert Fortier, who joked that his left arm is best for the shot, as he didn’t want to hinder his pitching arm. In his youth, as he recalls, Fortier threw quite the fastball. While the Department of Health reports a lessening of the flu, the season is not over and a second “spike” in cases is a possibility. (Warwick Beacon photo)


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