Demand for flu vaccine increases, state to receive new shipment

Dee DeQuattro

The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) is expecting another large shipment of flu vaccinations in the next few days.

Peter Haney the Public Information officer for HEALTH says that about 30,000 vaccinations are on their way to Rhode Island. While he says the state does not have a shortage in vaccinations he said some pharmacies have had minor issues where they ran out of the vaccination.

Currently the state has about 50,000 flu vaccinations and by Wednesday there should be approximately 62,000 doses. By the end of the week the state expects to have the additional 30,000 vaccines.

Haney said that it is unclear whether the number of flu cases in Rhode Island has peaked and notes it's too early to tell. He said either way, “it is never too late to get the vaccine.”

According to Haney, the vaccine is 70% effective but it takes about two weeks from time of injection for a person to be fully protected.

Some people are reluctant to get the flu shot, reporting that it makes them sick but Haney said that is “Absolutely a rumor.”

“You cannot get the flu from the flu shot. The shot contains the dead virus,” said Haney.

Haney explained that someone claiming to have gotten sick from the flu shot most likely had some kind of illness prior to receiving the vaccination.

Currently about 40% of Rhode Islander have received the flu vaccination. Haney said more children are vaccinated than adults and said the state is currently emphasizing the importance of adults being vaccinated. Adults who spend time around infants under 6 months of age of especially encouraged to get vaccinated to protect the baby from the flu.