The Rhode Island Department of Health provided the following Rhode Island COVID-19 vaccination update by email on Friday, February 26.

Rhode Island COVID-19 Vaccination Update


The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is writing to provide an update on Rhode Island’s COVID-19 vaccine efforts. As of this afternoon, 168,517 people have received one dose of vaccine. A total of 67,669 people have received two doses of vaccine. See the data.


Vaccination Progress at State-Run Sites

Last week, people who are 75 and older started getting vaccinated at our two State-run vaccination sites at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence and Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston, and on Monday we opened scheduling to people 65 and older.

In the last week, our COVID-19 vaccine administration rate has increased by 130% compared to January. We are now administering more than 6,600 doses a day on average throughout the state.


State-Run Vaccination Sites

All Rhode Islanders 65 and older can register for an appointment at one of the two State-run vaccination sites: one at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence and the other at Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston. More appointments will be made available beginning at 5 p.m. Friday.

To register to be vaccinated at one of the State-run sites, visit www.vaccinateri.org. People who cannot register online can get help by calling the automated line at 844-930-1779. The call center is open on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (closed on holidays).

Through both systems, an individual can either make a personal appointment or an appointment for someone else who is eligible.

As supply allows, new COVID-19 vaccination appointments at the State-run vaccination sites will be made available at the following times:   
 

  • Beginning at 9 a.m. on Tuesdays
  • Beginning at 5 p.m. on Fridays 
     

Additional appointments may also be posted throughout the week as they become available.

Appointments are expected to fill up quickly. Additional appointments may be added through the week as slots open. Please remember that making a vaccination appointment when it is not your turn denies eligible people a chance to be vaccinated that day and slows down the vaccine roll out in Rhode Island.

Supply of vaccine remains limited. It may take some time for everyone who is eligible to get an appointment. Please be patient and know that you may not get an appointment right away. The more vaccine we receive each week, the more quickly appointments will become available.

Pathways to Vaccination

Other options for vaccination still include going to a select retail pharmacy, or a local or regional clinic. Because there are multiple ways to get a vaccine, RIDOH encourages people to only schedule an appointment in one place so that all eligible people can get vaccinated as quickly as possible.

There is no insurance requirement to get vaccinated, and no one has to pay to get vaccinated in Rhode Island. Once an appointment is made, people are guaranteed a vaccine for their time slot.

See the ways people who live, work, or attend school in Rhode Island can get vaccinated

Accessibility at State-Run Sites

The State has taken steps to support accessibility at the State-run sites. At the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, ambassadors greet older adults in the parking garage and offer golf carts to transport people with mobility issues to the vaccination area.

At Sockanosset, ramps are available at the entrances and exits. Both locations offer extra wheelchairs and staff to help people through the site if needed.

At both locations, please do not arrive in the parking area more than 15 minutes before your appointment time. We have a very carefully planned operation in place to get people moving through the system safely and efficiently.

Two New State-Run Vaccination Sites

In the coming weeks, we plan to open two new State-run vaccination sites: one in Middletown and one in Woonsocket.

The Middletown site will be located at the former Benny’s store on West Main Road, while the Woonsocket site will be located at the former Sears department store on the corner of Mendon Road and Diamond Hill Road.

Appointments are currently NOT open at these new locations. We will announce when appointments open at these two new locations in the coming weeks.

Survey to Gather Information for Those Unable to Leave Their Home for Vaccine

While all individuals are encouraged to seek vaccination opportunities through vaccination clinics and retail pharmacies, there are individuals who are unable to leave home to attend such opportunities. If you are unable to leave home to receive COVID-19 vaccination, or are the healthcare provider or family caregiver of someone who is homebound, please inform RIDOH through the following form: http://bit.ly/homeboundvax. Please note: this is not a vaccination registration form. This is a form to collect information for planning.

Vaccine Interest Notification List

People who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated can add their contact information to a Vaccine Interest Notification List to get updates as eligibility opens to new groups. Enrolling in this list does not guarantee an appointment for vaccination. To enroll in the Vaccine Interest Notification List, visit portal.ri.gov.

Scheduled Service for Portal.ri.gov Website

As of 9 p.m. EST on Saturday, February 27, the portal.ri.gov website will be temporarily down due to a scheduled service update. This scheduled down time is expected to last for about 2-4 hours. During this time, all services available through portal.ri.gov will be unavailable, including COVID-19 test scheduling, test results lookups, and the signup form for the Vaccine Interest Notification List. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Ad Council COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative

The Ad Council and the COVID Collaborative, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have launched the COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative to help inform the American public and build confidence around the COVID-19 vaccine.

The initiative is designed to reach different audiences, including communities of color who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. By ensuring that Americans have accurate and timely information to answer their questions and concerns about vaccine side effects, efficacy, and clinical trials, their goal is to shift the public mindset from vaccine hesitancy to vaccine confidence. To learn more, visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative here

What to Expect During and After Your Vaccination

For more information on what to expect during and after your vaccination appointment, visit C19vaccineRI.org.

What Should I Do While I Wait for the Vaccine?

While the vaccine rollout will take time, there is a lot you can do in the meantime to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Testing is more available now than it has ever been in Rhode Island. If you go online right now to portal.ri.gov, you can make a same-day appointment to get tested at many sites throughout the state. If you test positive, Rhode Island also has a new doctor-recommended treatment. This fast, easy, and highly effective treatment helps keep you from getting sicker and being hospitalized.

However, the earlier you start treatment, the more effective it is. If you test positive for COVID-19 and are 65 or older or have an underlying health condition, immediately call your healthcare provider and ask about treatment for COVID-19. You can find out more information about this treatment here.

We will continue to share regular updates as more information becomes available. You can find updates on vaccination planning and answers to frequently asked questions on RIDOH’s COVID-19 Vaccine page

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).