Governor Gina M. Raimondo and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) today announced that all Rhode Islanders 75 and older can now register for an appointment at one of the two State-run vaccination sites. Appointments will begin tomorrow, February 18. Beginning Monday, February 22, scheduling will open to any Rhode Islander 65 and older.
Phase 1 of Rhode Island’s vaccination campaign has been focused on preserving the health care system and reaching groups most likely to be hospitalized – nursing home and other congregate residents, people in high-density communities, and older Rhode Islanders. While targeting these high-risk groups took more time than opening appointments to the general population from the outset, it also had the intended effect of preventing more severe cases of COVID-19, more significantly decreasing hospitalizations, and speeding up the reopening of our economy. Over the past month, Rhode Island saw a 46% decrease in hospitalizations, compared to 32% nationally and 22% in our neighboring states. And the decrease is even more significant among those in targeted groups.
Because of this positive impact from Phase 1, Rhode Island can now move into Phase 2 and begin vaccinating every Rhode Islander by age group. This will allow for a significantly faster pace of vaccination. In addition to opening appointments to anyone 65 and older on Monday, the State is taking several steps to ensure the speed and efficacy of this next phase. We will continue to work in partnership with all cities and towns, with a particular emphasis on high-density communities most impacted by COVID-19, to ensure the vaccine is efficiently and equitably distributed. The State will be working with municipalities to ensure those unable to get near-term local appointments can be redirected to open appointments at the State-run sites. In addition, we will be dramatically scaling up capacity in these State-run sites, with more sites to come online in the northern and southern regions of Rhode Island and a goal of doubling the daily capacity at State-run sites from 1,400 to 2,800 over the coming weeks.
“With the success of Phase 1 in shoring up our health care system, and the ability for speed and scale in Phase 2, Rhode Island is well-positioned to stay ahead of COVID-19,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. “Now, with a single website and phone number to sign up for appointments at any of our State-run sites, we’re taking our successful testing model and bringing it to this final frontier in our fight to end this pandemic.”
The two State-run vaccination sites opening tomorrow for anyone 75+ are the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence and Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston. Other options for vaccination still include going to a select retail pharmacy or a local or regional clinic. Please only schedule an appointment in one place so that all eligible people can get vaccinated as quickly as possible. Once an appointment is made, people are guaranteed a vaccine for their time slot. Due to limited supply of the vaccine, appointments are expected to fill up quickly. RIDOH urges patience. If supply increases, additional appointment will be added accordingly.
Registering for Vaccination at a State-run Site
To register to be vaccinated at one of the State-run sites, visit VaccinateRI.org. People who cannot register online can get help by calling the automated line at 844-930-1779. Going forward, the call center will be open on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and weekends from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Through both systems, an individual can either make a personal appointment or an appointment for someone else who is in the eligible age category.
Appointments are currently open through February 27. Additional appointments may be added through the week as slots open. Appointments are expected to fill up quickly.
Registering for Vaccination at a Pharmacy
People who are 75 and older can contact CVS or Walgreens about appointments at a retail pharmacy location. To register, people can go to CVS.com, use the CVS Pharmacy phone app, or call 800-746-7287. For Walgreens, go to Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine or call your local Walgreens.
Registering for Vaccination at a Local or Regional Clinic
Cities and towns are managing the registration process for local and regional clinics. Most cities and towns have been vaccinating their oldest residents first and will continue to do so. People can contact their city or town directly to learn more.
Vaccine Interest Notification List
While people who are younger than 65 years of age cannot yet register to be vaccinated, they can add their contact information to a Vaccine Information 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 Information Notification List, visit portal.ri.gov.
There is no insurance requirement to get vaccinated, and no one has to pay to get vaccinated. For more information about vaccination in Rhode Island, visit C19vaccineRI.org.