View this email in your browser

December 30, 2022


Rhode Island Community Partner Update


Vaccine News

Start the New Year with a Bivalent Vaccine

Bivalent vaccines are vaccines that protect against two strains of COVID-19. Both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna make bivalent COVID-19 vaccines that protect against the original strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 and against Omicron subvariants. Previously, these bivalent vaccines were available as booster doses to people 5 or older. On December 8, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) authorized and recommended that these bivalent vaccines be available to children 6 months and older.

CDC now recommends the following vaccination schedules:

  • Children 6 months through 4 years who got a Moderna primary series (two doses of Moderna) should get a Moderna bivalent booster at least two months after their second dose.
  • Children 6 months through 4 years who got a Pfizer primary series (three doses of Pfizer) are not recommended to get a bivalent booster dose at this time. Instead, the third dose of the primary series is now a bivalent vaccine (i.e., Pfizer’s primary series for this age group is now two doses of monovalent vaccine and a third dose of bivalent vaccine). 
  • Children 5 years who got the Moderna primary series should get a bivalent booster from either Moderna or Pfizer at least two months after their second dose.
  • Children 5 years who got the Pfizer primary series (two doses of Pfizer) should get a Pfizer bivalent booster at least two months after their primary series.
    CDC has two infographics to help explain COVID-19 vaccination schedules:
CDC has two infographics to help explain COVID-19 vaccination schedules:

Rhode Island providers have begun ordering bivalent vaccine for this age group. To get a bivalent vaccine for your child, please speak with your healthcare provider or visit If you have questions about the right COVID-19 vaccination schedule for your child, please speak with your healthcare provider.

COVID-19 Vaccines Help Keep Kids Healthy and Moving Forward!

Covid-19 can put plans on hold for days or weeks. RIDOH is excited to announce the launch of  the Keep Kids Healthy and Moving Forward campaign on December 12, as a reminder to not let COVID-19 interrupt our kids’ activities. Keep them healthy and moving forward by keeping them up-to-date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. Please help us amplify this important message by sharing the campaign on your social networks. 
Share the video in English on Facebook
Share the video in English on Instagram
Share the video in Spanish on Instagram

Test for COVID-19 This Holiday Season
Did you get together with friends and family over the Christmas Holiday? If you start having #COVID19 symptoms, take a test right away. Plus: #TestToTreat makes it easier and faster to get lifesaving COVID-19 treatments if you're eligible. Find a Test to Treat location near you:
If you plan to head out for New Years Celebrations, test yourself for COVID-19 before you go. Learn more at You can also order free COVID-19 tests kits from the federal government. Every household is now eligible to order 4 additional tests. Placing an order online or by phone is free, easy, and fast. Visit or call 1-800-232-0233

Upcoming Panel Discussion Addresses Increasing Tobacco Cessation Programs
Prevalence of tobacco use has increased in areas of Rhode Island, yet according to the claims data, referral to evidence-based cessation programs has declined. Smoking cessation is helpful at any age, improves health status, and quality of life.
Healthcentric Advisors is hosting a virtual panel discussion on Thursday, January 12th at 1pm to address how organizations can work to increase their referrals to evidence-based cessation programs and to utilize community partners across the spectrum. 
After attending the session, participants will be able to,
1.  Recognize the impact the pandemic had on tobacco use in Rhode Island,
2.  Describe evidence-based strategies to assess tobacco use, to provide cessation counseling, and to refer for additional support, and
3.  Establish a referral and feedback loop that allows you to track your patients’ progress.
The discussion is free to attend and open to the public. Click here to register.

Substance Use and Overdose Prevention Update 
Check out the December Newsletter

The December Governor’s Overdose Task Force Newsletter features meeting highlights, such as a review of the Task Force Strategic Plan Metrics and Future Directions, and a Year in Review: Highlights from the Task Force Strategic Plan Pillars; plus updates on a statewide public awareness campaign, recent testRI findings, and other news.  If you or someone you know would like to sign up to receive this newsletter, please share this link: 
TestRI Findings on Non-Pharmaceutical “Xanax” 

A testRI provider advisory was sent out about recent findings on non-pharmaceutical “Xanax.” testRI is a two-year research study done through the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), in partnership with Brown University School of Public Health, 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. Read the provider advisory here: 
Data from all samples tested in the study can be found on Rhode Island’s overdose information website and data dashboard,  


Press releases from the Governor’s Office:
Recent executive orders:
COVID-19 prevention guidance:
COVID-19 testing information:
COVID-19 vaccination information:
COVID-19 Information for Parents and Schools:
COVID-19 publications and resources:
COVID-19 resources in multiple languages:
CDC COVID-19 information:
Project Firstline Rhode Island: 

Social media platforms:

To view all past publications and to subscribe to our distribution list to receive future communications visit the COVID-19 Periodic Briefings, Advisories, and Updates webpage at

Please contact RIDOH Infectious Disease Communications Coordinator Aaron Frechette ( for assistance with educational materials and communication resources. Please contact the RIDOH COVID-19 Information Line at 401-222-8022, or email, with any other questions.
Copyright © 2022 The Rhode Island Department of Health, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.