Fine on flu vaccination: "We can do better"

Feb 15, 2013

While flu season is technically still here, Rhode Island’s Department of Health has lifted its declaration of “widespread” flu. More on the state’s response to a tough season.

Dr. Michael Fine, director of the RI Dept. of Health
Credit Rhode Island Department of Health

Department of health head Dr. Michael Fine says he’s pleased that more health care workers and members of the general population got vaccinated against the flu this year than last. But he says the state can do better than 50%.

“If we had vaccinated instead of 500,000 Rhode Islanders, 900,000 or more, we would have expected to see many fewer hospitalizations and many fewer illnesses.”

Fine says there were hundreds of flu-related hospitalizations. He says vaccinating as many Rhode Islanders as possible would help boost the so-called “herd immunity” – which is the protective effect of a vaccinated majority.