Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Offers Free Flu Shots To Uninsured and Under-Insured Rhode Islanders

(Providence, RI, 10.15.2010)
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Annual vaccination program to begin October 20

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is taking steps to curb a flu outbreak this season by sponsoring free flu clinics for Rhode Islanders who lack health insurance or whose insurance does not cover influenza vaccinations. Over the next two months, BCBSRI will work with local community service providers to manage the clinics.

Last year, BCBSRI administered nearly 700 doses through this annual program. This year, the seasonal flu shots will include the vaccination for the H1N1 virus.

"BCBSRI understands that good preventive care is important in all communities and immunizations, especially for influenza, are critical in preventing serious health challenges," said James E. Purcell, president and chief executive officer at BCBSRI. "At BCBSRI, we are committed to helping improve the health of all Rhode Islanders and partnering with community service organizations helps us to meet the needs of the underserved."

For the first time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are recommending that everyone over the age of six months receive a seasonal flu shot. The shot is not recommended for people who are severely allergic to chicken eggs or who have experienced a severe reaction to a past influenza vaccination in the past.

The clinics will begin on October 20, 2010 and will continue throughout December.

Schedule as of October 13, 2010:

10/20 Blackstone Valley Community Action Program (BVCAP), Pawtucket

10/23 Bradford JonnyCake Center of Westerly, Westerly

10/26 Dorcas Place, Providence

10/26 Genesis Center, Providence

10/28 Lucy's Hearth, Middletown

10/29 Mc Auley House, Providence

11/3 MAP Behavioral, Central Falls

11/3 Nickerson House Community Center, Providence

11/6 Oasis International, Providence

11/8 Central Falls Affordable Housing Authority, Central Falls

11/9 Camp Street Ministries, Providence

11/9 Urban League of RI, Providence

11/13 YMCA of Pawtucket, Pawtucket

11/17 Women's Center of Rhode Island, Providence

11/22 Jonnycake Center Inc., Wakefield

11/30 Crossroads Rhode Island, Providence

Individuals can visit the Ocean State Adult Immunization Coalition web site (osaicri.org) for a listing of all flu clinics.

Flu vaccinations also are free for all BCBSRI members. There is no copay or coinsurance for members simply getting an immunization.

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 Association.

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