Care New England Leaders Stress Importance of Receiving COVID and Flu Vaccines this Fall

(Providence, RI) – Today, CNE leadership stressed the importance of receiving COVID-19 and influenza vaccines this fall. “Now is the perfect time to be immunized, before the seasonal surge in respiratory infections begins” said Dr. Michael Wagner, President and CEO at CNE. “Getting vaccinated now allows time for immunity to develop before the anticipated winter peaks of COVID and influenza.”

It is especially important for healthcare workers to be vaccinated. Healthcare workers come into close contact with the most vulnerable people in Rhode Island. Some cannot be vaccinated themselves (those under 6 months of age) or cannot mount their own immune response (immunocompromised patients). Others are at high risk of severe disease, such as patients who are pregnant, or people with asthma, chronic kidney disease, cirrhosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, heart conditions, or obesity.

“We owe it to our patients to build a community of immunity” said Robin Neale, Vice President of Quality. “Vaccination won’t stop all infections. It is possible, though less likely, to catch and transmit flu or COVID even after vaccination. But staying up to date with COVID and flu vaccines reduces the risk of catching and transmitting disease to others”.

Dr. Wagner, President and CEO, was among the first at CNE to receive both COVID and influenza vaccines at the same time. He was joined by his Senior Leadership Team who also received vaccinations. “As a leadership team, we want staff to know COVID and flu vaccines are safe and effective. Staying up to date with COVID and flu vaccines helps protect our patients, our families, and each other” said Dr. Raymond Powrie, Chief Clinical Officer and Executive Chief of Medicine at CNE. 

CDC recommends the updated 2023–2024 COVID-19 and flu vaccines to protect against serious illness. Flu and COVID vaccines may be received at the same visit or may be scheduled separately. Vaccines are available now in community pharmacies and will be offered soon to healthcare workers at on-site clinics within CNE.

About Care New England
Care New England Health System is a trusted organization that fuels the latest advances in medical research, attracts the nation’s top specialty-trained doctors, hones renowned services and innovative programs, and engages in the important discussions people need to have about their health and end-of-life wishes. Care New England is helping to transform the future of health care, providing a leading voice in the ongoing effort to ensure the health of the individuals and communities we serve.

CNE was founded in 1996, and today it is the parent organization of Butler Hospital, Kent Hospital, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Care New England Medical Group, the VNA of Care New England, The Providence Center, and Integra, a certified accountable care organization (ACO). Care New England includes 970 licensed beds and 216 infant bassinets. Through Butler, Kent, and Women & Infants hospitals, Care New England has a teaching and research affiliation with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Kent is also a teaching affiliate of The University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine.