PROVIDENCE, RI — As Rhode Islanders move more activities indoors during the cold and COVID-19 transmission remains high, most Ocean Staters are at high risk, making them COVID-19 vaccine booster-eligible.
“Booster doses are available to people at higher risk, so following the EUA (The CDC’s Emergency Use Authorization for vaccines) that says that, with all of us moving indoors, with higher levels of transmission, as we’ve talked about here in Rhode Island, most people 18-64 and older, find themselves at some higher risk of exposure. That means you can get a booster dose,” said RI Department of Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott during Tuesday’s COVID-19 press conference, live-streamed by WJAR10. “We want to strongly encourage that.”
If you’re 65 years old or older, and it’s been six months, get your booster shot today. Do not hesitate.”
Also, Alexander-Scott said, If you are 18 or older and work in a high-risk setting you should get your booster dose today.
News of wide availability of boosters come as Rhode Island extends a state of emergency and school mask mandate through Dec. 11, responding to increased transmission of COVID-19 in Rhode Island, attributed to more activities and people moving indoors, where transmission is much more likely.
“Go and get your booster dose. Encourage your loved ones,” Alexander-Scott said.
Wider COVID-19 booster shot availability also comes nine days before Thanksgiving, when families will be more spending time indoors with each other, and with many family members outside their household. That will leave another five days until the boosters have restored your immune response to its highest alert, as it was two weeks after your last full dose, according to a recent NPR report. Even fully vaccinated/boosted people still need to be cautious, Alexander-Scott warned, since the Delta variant is much better at challenging your immune response, and no one’s immune system is perfect.
Thanksgiving 2021: COVID-19 an uninvited guest
“With the holidays coming up, hands down, the best way to celebrate safely, which is what we want everyone to be able to do, is to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19. And then, in addition to that, apply the mitigations that we know work,” Alexander-Scott said.
Vaccines are first and foremost, she said, but it doesn’t stop there. Also, people need to get tested regularly, wear a mask, and socially distance.
“All of those coming together is what leads to us all enjoying our holidays safely,” she said.
For Rhode Islanders who are still choosing to avoid vaccination, “It’s important for you to know that you are creating a higher-risk situation for the people you love around you and who you may be seeing during the Thanksgiving time. There’s no way around that interpretation. So. Show your love for those that you care for. Take care of yourself. Get yourself vaccinated. Get the children and family members around you vaccinated,” she said.
Additional measures you can take to make Thanksgiving gatherings safer:
- Get tested before Thanksgiving.
- Create more ventilation (outside air) at your gathering. Even cracking the windows will help.
- Absolutely stay home if you, or anyone you live with, are feeling any symptoms, and do not host visitors.
- If traveling, remember, masks are required on all public transport: planes, buses, trains, etc.
- Get your flu shot
- Communicate – have conversations about COVID-19 precautions in advance with family. Encourage visitors to get vaccinated.
- Set up tables to encourage social distancing.
RIDOH: Where can you get vaccinated or a booster dose?
Making an appointment can help reduce your wait time.
If you are unable to leave your home, you’re able to request services for in-home booster doses. Please visit this link for more information: https://covid.ri.gov/vaccination#athome.
This is a test