PROVIDENCE, RI — The Rhode Island Department of Health has opened 20,000 COVID-19 vaccine appointments as Rhode Islanders aged 40-49 have become vaccine eligible as have people 16 and older in Woonsocket.
On Friday, Gov.Dan McKee and RIDOH announced residents of Woonsocket 16 years and older are eligible to register to get vaccinated. Residents of 02893 (West Warwick), 02906 (Providence), 02910 and 02920 (Cranston), 02911 (North Providence), 02914 (East Providence), and 02919 (Johnston), 16 and older are also eligible today, along with all Rhode Islanders 40 to 49 years old.
Eligibility opened to Woonsocket residents early because that community has been harder hit, according to RIDOH. For the week of March 28 to April 3, Woonsocket had 128 new cases of COVID-19, an increase of 21 percent from the previous week. In addition, Woonsocket has the lowest vaccination coverage rate of any community where age eligibility has not yet been expanded.
“Equity is a major focus for us in responding to the COVID-19 crisis. This means distributing vaccine in a way that is responsive to the reality that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on certain communities,” said Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health. “This approach is reflective of our larger vision at the Rhode Island Department of Health that all Rhode Islanders in every ZIP code should have an equal opportunity to be healthy.”
People now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine can schedule their appointments at any of the following sites, free of charge:
“We continue to vaccinate as many people as our vaccine allocation allows,” said McKee. “Our increased capacity to get shots in arms puts us on track to meet the President’s recommendation that all adults are eligible for vaccination by April 19.”
Rhode Island is also running equity-focused COVID-19 vaccination clinics this weekend and next weekend at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence and at the State-run vaccination site in Woonsocket.
About 20,000 vaccination slots opened Friday, 5 p.m. on www.vaccinateRI.org for people who were currently eligible to register. (Roughly 1,000 of those appointments were at the Woonsocket site.)
Addtionally, RIDOH made the following announcements:
- People who cannot register online for an appointment at a State-run vaccination site can get help by calling 844-930-1779 or 2-1-1. In addition to appointments at State-run sites, people can get vaccinated at retail pharmacies and at local/regional vaccination sites.
- People who are not eligible yet to get vaccinated against COVID-19 can pre-register by signing up for the Vaccine Interest Notification List at www.portal.ri.gov. People will be notified by email, text, or phone call when they are eligible and there is an available appointment.
- There is no insurance requirement to get vaccinated in Rhode Island, and no one has to pay to get vaccinated. For general information about COVID-19 vaccination in Rhode Island, visit C19vaccineRI.org.