Health director urges shots in severe flu season

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island's health director says residents can still be vaccinated against the flu in what has turned out to be a particularly bad season.

Dr. Michael Fine says roughly 40 percent of the state has been vaccinated. He says it's not too late for those who haven't gotten shots to do so.

Fine says this year's flu season is particularly bad. A spokeswoman for the department says the state has had 380 flu hospitalizations this season compared to 90 for all of last season.

No pediatric flu deaths have been reported in Rhode Island, and data for adult deaths isn't yet available.

The severity of the flu prompted Boston to declare a public health emergency Wednesday. Massachusetts has reported 18 flu-related deaths so far.

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