Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Provides Free Flu Shots for Un-Insured Rhode Islanders

PROVIDENCE, RI – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is working to keep local communities healthy by sponsoring free flu clinics for Rhode Islanders who do not have health insurance. Over the next three months, BCBSRI will partner with local community service agencies to sponsor clinics across the state. BCBSRI has administered a free flu shot program for the last five years. Last year, BCBSRI administered vaccines at 40sites to 700 uninsured individuals.

“Getting a flu shot is a simple yet highly effective action we can all take to keep our communities healthy,” said Dr. Gus Manocchia, chief medical officer for BCBSRI. “BCBSRI is committed to helping ensure that all Rhode Islanders, with or without insurance, have the opportunity to receive this very important vaccination.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over the age of six months receive a seasonal flu shot. Vaccination of high-risk persons – including young children, pregnant women, people 65 years and older, and people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease – is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness. The shot is not recommended for people who are allergic to chicken eggs or who have experienced a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past.

The schedule of flu clinics as of September 10, 2014 is as follows:

9/10: 11:00 AM-1:00 PM, RI Free Clinic, 655 Broad Street, Providence

9/11: 12:30 PM-3:00 PM, RI Free Clinic, 655 Broad Street, Providence

9/16: 10:00 AM-1:00 PM, MLK Center, 20 Dr. Marcus Wheatland, Newport

9/25: 1:00 PM-3:00 PM, RI Free Clinic, 655 Broad Street, Providence

9/29: 12:00 PM-3:00 PM, Johnnycake Center of Westerly, 23 Industrial Drive, Westerly

10/4: 12:00 PM-3:00 PM, Oasis International, 600 Broad Street, Providence

10/15: 10:00 AM-2:00 PM, Blackstone Valley Community Action, 32 Goff Avenue, Pawtucket

10/29: 1:00 PM-3:00 PM, Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 422 Post Road (Suite 102), Warwick

10/30: 11:00 AM-1:00 PM, Amos House, 415 Friendship Street, Providence

11/15: 10:30 AM-1:00 PM, Mount Hope Community Baptist Church, 734 Hope Street, Providence

11/24: 10:00 AM-1:00 PM, Johnnycake Center Inc, 1231 Kingstown Road, Wakefield

Clinics began in September, and additional clinics will be added in October, November and December. Schedules are subject to change. BCBSRI members can get their flu vaccination with no out-of-pocket cost by visiting their primary care provider, a local pharmacy participating in our flu vaccine program or a flu clinic.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is the state’s leading health insurer and covers more than 550,000 members. Our mission is to improve our members’ health and peace of mind by facilitating their access to affordable, high-quality healthcare. BCBSRI is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit www.bcbsri.com, follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI, and like us on Facebook at fb.com/bcbsrhodeisland.

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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