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Free Flu Clinic at Cranston Senior Center Thursday

A Flu Vaccine Clinic has been scheduled in conjunction with Rhode Island Department of Health and Cranston EMA.

It is free to the public and will be held on Thursday, Jan. 23  from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Cranston Senior Service Center, 1070 Cranston St.,Cranston, RI.

This year, throughout the country, CDC has tracked many cases of severe respiratory illness from the H1N1 virus, which in some instances have led to hospitalization, and even death, among young and middle-aged adults. Thus far this season there have been 51 hospitalizations related to the flu in Rhode Island. The flu is currently widespread in 25 states, including Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The dominant strain of flu circulating in Rhode Island and the country is H1N1, which was first detected in 2009. This strain affects children, young adults, and middle aged adults more than other strains. However, this year's vaccine protects against H1N1 flu, as well as two or three other strains (depending on what type of vaccine that people receive).

Everyone older than six months of age should be vaccinated against the flu every year. In addition to healthcare workers, vaccination is especially important for pregnant women, the elderly, and people with chronic medical conditions such as heart, lung or kidney disease, diabetes, and asthma.

There is no cost for a flu shot and there are no insurance requirements at the clinics. People who have health insurance, however, are asked to bring their insurance cards.

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