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December 15, 2022


Rhode Island Community Partner Update


Vaccine News

Updated, bivalent COVID-19 Vaccines are Now Authorized and Recommended for Children Age 6 Months Through 5 Years.

Bivalent vaccines are vaccines that protect against two strains. 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. Until December 8, these bivalent vaccines were available as booster doses to people age 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 age 6 months and older.

CDC now recommends the following vaccination schedules:

  • Children age 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 age 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 age 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 age 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.

CDC and RIDOH are updating their online materials to include these updates. Thank you for your patience while we complete these updates. For more information on bivalent boosters, please see:
Free COVID-19 Test Kits are Now Available

Order your free COVID-19 tests so you have them when you need them! 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

Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

RIDOH is reminding Rhode Islanders about steps they can take to prevent catching and spreading COVID-19 this holiday season. You can help us amplify these tips for a healthy holiday by sharing the below messages and images among your networks. Click here for messaging in Spanish. 
  • Update your protection against COVID-19 this holiday season. Get your updated booster today. Learn more:
  • This holiday season, give the gift of protection. Make sure your family is up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines. Learn more:
  • Going home for the holidays? Don’t bring COVID-19 with you. Test yourself for COVID-19 before you go. Learn more: 
  • Returning home from holiday travel? Take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. To learn more, visit  
  • Visiting family this holiday season? Don’t bring COVID-19 with you. Stay home if you feel sick. Learn more: 

For additional messaging, images, and videos to promote healthy holiday tips, check out this toolkit from the US Department of Health and Human Services. 

Funding Opportunity: Increasing State Menthol Capacity Learning Collaborative

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) Tobacco Control Program (RITCP) would like to collaborate with a local community-based organization to apply for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office on Smoking and Health (CDC/OSH) Increasing State Menthol Capacity Learning Collaborative.

Interested community-based organizations should complete this interest form as soon as possible. Complete proposals are due to ASTHO by January 6. RITCP is requesting community partners submit proposals no later than December 23, 2022. Please see the full Request For Proposals (RFP) and Frequently Asked Questions for details. Please contact with any questions. 

How To Get Copies of Immunization Records

Getting a copy of your child’s immunization records, or your own, is possible through your primary care provider. RIDOH started collecting immunization information on children in 1997 using KIDSNET. The immunization registry was expanded in 2020 to include adult immunization information using the Rhode Island Child and Adult Immunization Registry, or RICAIR. Unfortunately, RICAIR has very limited immunization information from the years prior to 1997. It is unlikely that RIDOH has a childhood immunization record for people born before 1997.

Rhode Island primary care providers have access to KIDSNET/RICAIR and can provide you with a copy of your immunization record. Rhode Island school nurse teachers also have access to KIDSNET/RICAIR to check if students have met school vaccination requirements.

Please note RIDOH does not directly provide copies of immunization records to members of the public. Immunization records can only be released to healthcare providers, childcare facilities, schools, colleges, or employee health offices. Click here to learn more.  

Substance Use and Overdose Prevention Update 
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.

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