BCBSRI to Offer Free Seasonal Flu Shots to Uninsured in Rhode Island

(Providence, RI, 9.28.2009)

Beginning October 7th, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) will sponsor free flu clinics for Rhode Islanders who lack health insurance. The clinics will be held at homeless shelters and other charitable organizations throughout the state. Only the seasonal flu vaccinations will be available through this program, not H1N1 (swine) flu vaccinations. 

“We are absolutely committed to helping protect our fellow Rhode Islanders this flu season,” said James E. Purcell, BCBSRI president and CEO. “We are proud to partner with local organizations such as AIDS Care Ocean State, Big Sisters of Rhode Island, Crossroads Rhode Island, and McAuley House to ensure that flu shots are available to those who need it, regardless of their ability to pay. It’s simply the right thing to do.”

To provide the flu shots, BCBSRI is partnering with The Health & Wellness Institute, the Wellness Company, and with community service organizations that minister to a high number of people living in poverty, who are likely to be uninsured.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends flu shots for children ages 6 months to 19 years, pregnant women, people age 50 and over, people of any age with a chronic illness, people who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities, healthcare workers, and caregivers of children.

Flu vaccinations are not recommended for children younger than 6 months old, people who are severely allergic to chicken eggs, and those who have experienced a severe reaction to a past influenza vaccination.

The clinics will begin on October 7 and will run through November 24.

Dates and locations  

10/7                 Connecting for Children and Families, Woonsocket

10/9                 Big Sisters of Rhode Island, Cranston

10/13               Genesis Center, Providence

10/15               Crossroads, Providence

10/19               International Institute, Providence

10/23               Dorcas Place, Providence

10/27               Bradford Jonnycake Center of Westerly, Westerly

10/28               Poverello Center, Providence

10/29               Progreso Latino, Providence

10/29               Amos House, Providence

11/5                 Channel One, Pawtucket

11/5                 CHisPA, Providence

11/9                 Carroll Tower, Providence

11/9                 Dexter Manor, Providence

11/9                 Dominica Manor, Providence

11/10               Salvation Army, Pawtucket

11/11               St. Edward Food and Wellness Center, Providence

11/12               Map Behavioral, Providence

11/13               Camp Street Ministries, Providence

11/13               Jonnycake Center, South Kingstown

11/18               Nickerson Community Center, Providence

11/18               Youth Pride Pantry, Providence

11/19               St. Martin de Porres Center, Providence

11/24               Project Homeless Connect, Providence

Flu shots are also free for BCBSRI members; members can visit Ocean State Adult Immunization Coalition for a listing of all flu clinics. To learn more and find comprehensive information about flu prevention and treatment, visit Flu News on BCBSRI.com.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state’s leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members.  Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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