PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Dozens of people who use the Crossroads homeless shelter in Providence have been immunized against influenza as part of a state and city effort to highlight the importance of vaccination.
State Department of Health Director Michael Fine, Mayor Angel Taveras (tuh-VEHR'-us) and first lady Stephanie Chafee (CHAY'-fee) were on hand at Crossroads Rhode Island on Thursday as 77 clients and other community members got shots.
Chafee, a nurse, called it especially important for those with limited access to health care to get vaccinated to protect themselves against influenza, which can lead to potentially serious complications.
Influenza causes about 36,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. The health department said that 178 Rhode Islanders were hospitalized with it last year.