COVID-19 Provider Briefing
November 3, 2022

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) sends provider briefings to all Rhode Island licensees to keep you informed. Please note that information may not directly apply to all providers.


Vaccination Headlines

Rhode Islanders Reminded About Respiratory Virus Prevention Measures

With Rhode Island and states throughout the region currently seeing the circulation of several respiratory viruses, including RSV, flu, and COVID-19, all Rhode Islanders are reminded to take basic prevention measures to help themselves and their family members stay healthy and safe.

"While RSV is a common virus that we see every year in Rhode Island, we are seeing cases earlier than usual, and we are seeing more virus circulating in the community," said Interim Director of Health Utpala Bandy, MD, MPH. "The good news is that many of the prevention measures that help prevent the spread of the flu and COVID-19 also help prevent the spread of RSV. Regular hand washing and staying home from school or work when sick are two steps that everyone should be taking, especially kids and people who are in regular contact with school-age children, older adults, and people with underlying health conditions."

All Rhode Islanders should:

- Get your flu shot. Everyone older than six months of age should be vaccinated every year. For information on where to get a flu shot, see

- Be up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations. For many people, that means getting a booster. For information on how to get vaccinated against COVID-19, see

- Cough or sneeze into your elbow.

- Wash your hands often with soap and water.

- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, and school.

- Stay home if you are sick.

- Keep children home from daycare or school who have fever, especially with a cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, congestion, runny nose, or sore throat, until they are fever-free for 24 hours without medications that reduce fever.

- Contact your pediatrician or healthcare provider if you believe your child needs medical care. Your provider can offer advice on whether your child needs to be evaluated in person, tested for COVID or flu, and the best location (doctor's office, urgent care, emergency room) for care.

Read the release

CDC Group Endorses Adding COVID Shots to Recommended Vaccine Schedule

An advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) voted last month in favor of adding the COVID vaccine to the recommended immunization schedule for children and adults. Children six months and older, as well as adults, should get the COVID vaccine, plus boosters, when they are eligible for it, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said in an unanimous vote. The decision to officially add COVID vaccination to the schedule now goes to CDC. The agency is expected to sign off on the recommendation, but it is not required to do so. For example, CDC added the HPV vaccine to the recommended schedule in 2006. Since then, just a handful of states and territories have mandated the vaccines for public school attendance.

Read the story

Pfizer Expects to Hike US COVID Vaccine Price to $110-$130 Per Dose

Pfizer Inc. expects to roughly quadruple the price of its COVID-19 vaccine to about $110 to $130 per dose after the United States government's current purchase program expires, Pfizer executive Angela Lukin said last month.

Lukin said she expects the vaccine - currently provided for free to all by the government - will be made available at no cost to people who have private insurance or government paid insurance.

Reuters earlier reported that Wall Street was expecting such price hikes due to weak demand for COVID vaccines, which meant vaccine makers would need to hike prices to meet revenue forecasts for 2023 and beyond.

The US government currently pays around $30 per dose to Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE (22UAy.DE). In 2023, the market is expected to move to private insurance after the US public health emergency expires.

Read the story

Other Headlines

Last week, Rhode Island had 1,207 new cases of COVID-19 and 9 deaths. As of November 3, Rhode Island’s cumulative number of COVID-19-associated fatalities is 3,705. As of last week, there were 101 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Rhode Island. Review our full COVID-19 data summary for Rhode Island
Public Health Alert for Cranston, Warwick, West Warwick, and Coventry
On October 26, RIDOH issued a Public Health Alert due to increased opioid overdose activity in Cranston, Warwick, West Warwick, and Coventry (Region 7) during the seven-day period of October 16-October 22, 2022. In addition, Region 3 (Cumberland, Lincoln, Smithfield, North Smithfield) reached pre-established opioid overdose threshold activity for emergency department visits.

Read the full alert.

Updates from testRI: Findings on Xylazine

RIDOH, in partnership with Brown University School of Public Health, introduce testRI, a two-year research study to find out what is in the local drug supply in Rhode Island and how changes to the supply are impacting people who use drugs in our communities.

How does testRI research work?

The testRI research team tests used equipment, like pipes and syringes, that are collected from the community or donated by individuals or local organizations. Samples are tested using advanced confirmatory toxicology testing (LC-QTOF-MS). Data from all samples tested in the study can be found on Rhode Island’s overdose information website and data dashboard,

What have recent testRI samples revealed?

FentanylXylazine, and Fentanyl Analogs Found in “Percocet” Drug Sample Testing

  • In September 2022, the testRI research team tested five drug samples sold as “Percocet” pills. All five samples contained both fentanyl and xylazine (a veterinary, non-opioid sedative).
  • Fentanyl was a major component in all five samples and xylazine was a major component in three out of the five samples.
  • Fentanyl analogs (e.g., acrylfentanyl, para-fluorofentanyl) were also found in four out of five samples, and oxycodone was found in one sample tested.

Read the advisory


COVID-19 Vaccine Webinars

CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Webinars [] are brief presentations designed to provide immunization providers with the most up-to-date information on the vaccines used to fight the virus that causes COVID-19. The new Recommendations for Bivalent COVID-19 Booster Doses [] course discusses recommendations for a bivalent COVID-19 booster dose, the interim COVID-19 immunization schedule to date, COVID-19 vaccine products, and recommended actions for addressing bivalent and monovalent COVID-19 vaccine administration errors.

At the end of the session, participants will be able to:

The webinar includes self-test practice questions and lists additional resources related to the topic discussed. Continuing education credit for the course is available through March 18, 2023. The webinar is prerecorded and registration is not required. Contact if you have any questions about the webinar or need help with accessibility.

Monthly Public Health Out Loud – Grand Rounds 

Public Health Out Loud Grand Rounds is a monthly CME-accredited live webinar approved by RIDOH to meet the requirement of cultural awareness. Special topics include antimicrobial stewardship, risk management, and cultural awareness. Four hours is required in any one of these topic areas. This CME is funded by CDC’s grant on health equity.

The next call is on Wednesday, November 16, 12 – 1 p.m. 
Zoom link: []
Dial-in: 877-853-5247 
Meeting ID: 990 1421 1681 
Passcode: 795501
Phone Meeting ID: 978 3351 9362

Previously recorded webinars can be found at   

Information Resources 

Connect with a RIDOH provider representative by email to get answers to questions related to COVID-19. 

Rhode Island healthcare providers

Unsubscribe <<Email Address>> from this list | Forward to a friend | Update your profile

Copyright (C) 2020 Rhode Island Department of Health. All rights reserved.