A woman in a white coat with a stethoscope.

It’s the season: Flu – Respiratory (RSV) – COVID vaccine recommendations

COVID – Flu – RSV – 3 shots that were once going to be made into one, are now, individually, being recommended for various groups in Rhode Island.

The RI Department of Health recommendations:

RI Department of Health recommends the new COVID for everyone six months of age and older to protect against the potentially serious outcomes of COVID-19 illness this fall and winter and for those who have not been vaccinated in the last 2 months.

The updated Vaccine is a booster for those who have been vaccinated previously, and can be taken if someone has not had any prior vaccination as well. It will become increasingly available over the next several weeks at sites throughout Rhode Island – primary care providers, pharmacies, federally qualified health centers, and other settings. People can call these sites to inquire about availability and make appointments or go online, particularly with pharmacies to set their appointments.

No-cost COVID-19 vaccines are available from healthcare providers, federally qualified health centers, and retail pharmacy chains participating in the Bridge Access Program. Visit to find providers.

“Just like the flu, the virus that causes COVID-19 is always changing, and protection from COVID-19 vaccines declines over time. Getting your updated COVID-19 vaccine helps restore your protection, and is one of the best steps you can take to avoid serious illness and hospitalization,” said Interim Director of Health Utpala Bandy, MD, MPH. “Our team has been preparing to ensure that this vaccine is available in Rhode Island in the coming weeks.”

From the CDC:

Vaccine recommendations

  • Everyone aged five years and older should get one dose of 2023-2024 Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of previous vaccination history, at least two months after the last dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
  • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may get additional doses of updated Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. People in this situation should talk to their healthcare providers about the 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Children from six months to five years of age who have previously been vaccinated against COVID-19 can get one dose of the 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine. However, children six months to five years who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 previously may need multiple doses. Parents and guardians should talk to their child’s healthcare provider.

Health recommendations if you are sick:

  • Stay home when sick. Stay home for at least 24 hours after a fever (temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37.8 degrees Celsius or higher) is gone. Temperature should be measured without the use of fever-reducing medicines (medicines that contain ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Avoid contact with others, especially older adults and people with underlying health conditions, if you are sick. If you test for COVID, and you are positive, follow the isolation protocols to prevent spread.
  • Wash your hands regularly throughout the day using soap for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to clean your hands.  Hand washing is especially important before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; after leaving a public place; after touching objects or surfaces that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles and tables. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands. Always wash your hands as soon as you can after you cough or sneeze.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 if you have any of the classic symptoms, like fever or chills, a runny nose, a cough, achiness, or loss of taste or smell. If you or someone you live with tests positive for COVID-19, there are steps you can take to prevent spreading the virus to others and protect yourself from getting very sick. The Isolation Calculator can help you determine how long you should stay home and isolate away from others. Learn more about doctor-recommended treatments for COVID-19 that can keep you from getting sicker and being hospitalized.
  • Some treatments such as Paxlovid must be taken within the first 48-hours of symptoms so inform your doctor if you test positive for COVID and get their advice on medications.

Additional resources online

Who needs more frequent COVID Boosters?

Of particular concern are people with a compromised or weak immune system, seniors over 60, those with chronic illnesses such as diabetes or those at high risk (cancer, heart disease, etc.) If you have loved ones in nursing homes, check to be sure they are being boostered this fall. More information was published in the article, below, by RINewsToday this past spring:

Flu & RSV (respiratory vaccine) Recommendations

please refer to this document on RSV:

Flu and RSV vaccines should be available now, or within the next few weeks in Rhode Island.

At Stop & Shop

Stop & Shop announced that seasonal flu vaccinations are once again available at its 14 pharmacy locations across Rhode Island for both adults and children aged three-or-older. In addition to flu shots, Stop & Shop is also offering the newly approved RSV, respiratory vaccine to those 60 and older. Eligible customers can receive immunizations for both the flu and RSV during the same pharmacy visit, as the CDC has indicated that these vaccines may be administered alongside each other. Vaccinations are administered by Stop & Shop’s trained & trusted pharmacists and are at no-cost with most insurance plans.

Stop & Shop offers several types of flu vaccines, and its team of licensed pharmacists can help each patient select the type that is best for them. Stop & Shop pharmacists will help customers by addressing concerns about allergies, preservatives, or potential side effects. In addition to flu shots, customers aged five and older in need of a COVID-19 vaccine or bivalent booster can receive both the flu and COVID-19 vaccine at once per the CDC, with no need for a waiting period. Stop & Shop pharmacies have an ample supply of Bivalent COVID-19 vaccines for eligible patients available at no-cost with most insurance plans. The updated COVID-19 vaccine, that Stop & Shop will offer, is anticipated soon.

Other vaccinations

In addition, Stop & Shop pharmacists are experienced in screening for risk factors associated with various health conditions and providing immunization support to help protect against shingles, RSV, pneumonia, and tetanus. Customers can consult their local Stop & Shop pharmacist for a full immunization review and to discuss other important immunizations that can help keep them, their families, and the community healthy. 

To find a Stop & Shop Pharmacy near you, to view which vaccine is available in your local Stop & Shop Pharmacy, or to schedule an immunization appointment, visit   

Other locations

CVS, Walgreens, and other locations are beginning to get out their information about vaccinations. The pharmacists where you get your prescriptions can give you advice about these options.

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