PROVIDENCE — The recurring flu virus strain, H1N1, is predominant this flu season, which bodes well for Rhode Island as about 10 percent more people in the Ocean State this year have received the vaccine providing protection against that strain and three others. At least 378,634 doses of flu vaccine have been administered in Rhode Island, said Joseph Wendelken, spokesman for the R.I. Department of Health. That’s roughly a 10 percent increase over last year at this time, he said. That figure includes doses administered at CVS Health Corp.’s pharmacies, but not Walgreens Co. or Stop & Shop Co., Wendelken said, so the numbers of vaccinated people may be more positive than their numbers show. “The more people vaccinated the better. Vaccine is the single best protection against the flu year in and year out,” Wendelken said. Flu cases in Rhode Island remain widespread at about 2.7 percent of patient visits attributed to flu-like illness. The flu season has been a H1N1 predominate season in Rhode Island as well, he noted. “We can say this based on the lab tests that are done here and at the hospitals in Rhode Island,” Wendelken said. H1N1 is the dominant strain in the… Read full this story
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