Sandra Colpitts, RN
Management Care Coordinator
Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
every cold and flu season a wave of germs are spread through airborne particles
shared through sneezing and coughing and are likely spread across everything
you touch in the workplace, from door knobs to keyboards to elevator buttons. You
may take preventive steps, such as frequent hand washing, drinking more water
and taking vitamins, to avoid germs. However, a found that 79 percent of Americans
with flu or flulike symptoms said they still went to work—offering a multitude
of opportunities for you to catch the virus anyway.
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), last year’s flu season
saw flu diagnoses climb to the highest level since 2009. While taking
preventive steps to avoid germs is one way to stay healthy, the most important
and most effective way to avoid the flu is by getting a flu shot.
The CDC recommends that
everyone over the age of six months receive a seasonal flu shot. Vaccination of
high-risk people – 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. If you have
questions or concerns about receiving the flu vaccine you should speak to your
primary care provider.
Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is working tirelessly to contribute
to a state of health and well-being across Rhode Island by for residents who do not have health insurance. For
the past decade, BCBSRI has administered a free flu shot program and has
partnered with local community service agencies to sponsor clinics across the
year, BCBSRI provided no-cost vaccines at 35 sites to 700 uninsured Rhode
Islanders. While you may think you should wait until flu season officially
starts, the CDC recommends getting the flu shot as soon as it becomes available.
It takes up to two weeks for your immunity to build up after getting a flu
shot, so it is best to get vaccinated as soon as you can. Conversely, flu
season typically peaks in January or February, so it is never too late to
receive your vaccination. For a full, up-to-date listing of upcoming free flu
clinics sponsored by BCBSRI, please visit .
members can get their flu vaccination with no out-of-pocket costs by visiting
their primary care provider, a local pharmacy or a BCBSRI flu clinic. For more
information, please visit: .