Health officials encourage flu shots for Rhode Islanders six months and up

This is a file image of a child getting a flu shot. (WLNE)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Health officials will kick off a statewide flu vaccination campaign in Providence on Thursday.

The Rhode Island Department of Health said the event encourages children six months and up to get their flu shots.

“This year’s flu vaccine protects against two influenza A strains (including the H1N1 strain) and two influenza B strains. The strains that are in this year’s flu vaccine are, based on what strains experts think will be circulating in the U.S.,” according to the department.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there are several flu shots for use in children as young as 6 months old.

The CDC recommends children in this age group getting vaccinated for the first time, and those who have only previously received one dose of flu vaccine, should get two doses of vaccine this season. The second dose can be administered at least four weeks after the first.

According to the CDC, it takes about two weeks after vaccination for the body to develop antibodies against the flu virus infection.

“While not at higher risk, children 5 years and older can spread flu to their higher risk family members,” the CDC said.

There are only two flu vaccines approved for adults 65 years and older.

Most people who get the flu will have a fever and cough or sore throat. They may also have a runny or stuffy nose, body aches, a headache, chills, fatigue, vomiting, or diarrhea.

The Department of Health said you can receive a flu shot and a COVID vaccine at the same time. You don’t need to wait 14 days between vaccinations.

The 9 a.m. event will be held at the Providence Community Health Centers’ Chafee Health Center.

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island