The Rhode Island Department of Health on Friday provided the following COVID-19 vaccination update via email. What’s Up Newp is sharing the update and information in its entirety to help get this important information out to as many people as possible.

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 morning, 315,865 people have received one dose of vaccine. A total of 194,497 people have received two doses of vaccine. See the data.

We continue to be in the top 10 states nationally for the number of people who have received at least one dose. We have administered almost half a million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in our state. Our average number of doses administered per day has topped 10,000, and last week we administered more than 70,000 doses, which is more than we have done in any one week.

We have the capacity to administer 100,000 doses a week, and we envision having the capacity to administer 160,000 doses by next week. As we work to build out our vaccination capacity and prepare for an increase in supply, we continue to encourage Rhode Islanders to get vaccinated once they are eligible. These vaccines are safe, effective, and will save lives.


New State-Run Vaccination Sites

Two new State-run sites will open this weekend.

The State-run site in South County will open Saturday, March 27, at the Schneider Electric facility, 132 Fairgrounds Road, West Kingston. The Woonsocket site will open Sunday, March 28, at the old Sears department store at 1500 Diamond Hill Road. Both State-run sites will operate from 2 to 6 p.m.

Appointments for these two new State-run sites will open Friday at approximately 5 p.m. with 400 slots available at each site. Appointments will be available through vaccinateRI.org.

In addition to these sites, we are working to open locations in Westerly, East Providence, and Johnston. As our vaccine supply increases, more appointments will become available at these sites and others. We are working hard every day to make sure that we can make vaccines more accessible.


Eligibility Timeline

All Rhode Islanders will be eligible to make an appointment to be vaccinated by April 19. Between now and April 19, we are going to continue to open eligibility to different age groups, as you can see on our updated timeline.

We are currently vaccinating people who are age 64 to 60 and people who are age 64 to 16 with underlying health conditions. We aim to open eligibility to the remaining groups by the following dates:  

  • People age 59 to 50 by April 5;
  • People age 49 to 40 by April 12;
  • And people age 39 to 16 by April 19.  


While not everyone will be able to get an appointment on the first day eligibility opens for their age group, we are very confident that most people in each age group will be able to have an appointment within a week or two after they become eligible.


Vaccine Interest Notification List

To make scheduling a vaccination appointment more customer focused and friendly, we are building a pre-registration system using our existing Vaccine Interest Notification List, which people can join through portal.ri.gov. People who cannot sign up online can call 844-930-1779.

You will be asked to provide your age and other information, such as information about any health conditions. This information will help determine the order in which people will receive invitations to make a vaccination appointment.

When you sign up, you can also tell us how you prefer to be contacted with information about the appointment available to you. You can choose email, text message, or phone call.

When a slot opens up for you, we will contact you using your preferred method. You will get contacted about an appointment roughly two weeks in the future. We will send out notifications about appointments each Wednesday, starting April 7.

This appointment will be for a given day at a given site. People will have flexibility in the time, but the appointment will be for a set date and location, which will be one of our five State-run sites: the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Sockanosset Cross Road, Middletown, South County, or Woonsocket. The link you get to register for an appointment can only be used once.

People who do not use this pre-registration system will still be able to make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at a State-run site by going directly to vaccinateRI.org. They can also make an appointment at a pharmacy or regional or local site. This pre-registration system is simply one more option for people. It is not required.

People who have already been vaccinated or who have an appointment will be removed from the pre-registration list.

Everyone who already signed up will already be in the pre-registration system. You do not need to submit your information again. We will send an email or text message each Wednesday so you know if you are pre-registered.


Next Steps in Coming Weeks

Over the next several weeks, we have three main tasks. The first is to continue expanding our capacity so we are able to administer vaccine as quickly as it comes into Rhode Island.

The second task is to narrow our disparities, and to make sure that our vaccination rates are as high as possible in all communities throughout the state, including our communities of color which have been hit hardest by COVID-19. We need to get our vaccination rates as high as possible in our communities where we have seen the greatest number of hospitalizations.

We have been getting some great input from our Equity Council and are going to keep looking to them for their insight on how we can do better. We are also working to make the registration process as customer friendly and convenient as possible. 

New Ad Council Videos 

The Ad Council has launched four new videos of pharmacists promoting COVID-19 vaccination. Two of the videos feature pharmacists speaking to a consumer audience (Why Should I Get Vaccinated? and Who Needs to Verify COVID-19 Vaccines?), and two videos feature pharmacists addressing fellow pharmacists (Answering Patients’ Questions on COVID-19 Vaccination and Answers to COVID-19 Vaccination Logistics Questions). The Ad Council’s full toolkit with videos is available here.

The videos are designed to encourage all Americans to get answers to the top questions about the COVID-19 vaccines at GetVaccineAnswers.org and to get a vaccination when it is available to them. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Record Lookup

Rhode Islanders can now get a copy of their COVID-19 vaccine record through portal.ri.gov/VaccineRecord. From this website, you can search for and print proof of your COVID-19 vaccination. If you need a second dose of vaccine, this record will tell you when you are eligible to get your second dose. Please note that only people who have received their COVID-19 vaccination in Rhode Island will be able to look up their vaccination record online.

If you are having trouble finding your vaccination record or are not able to go online, you can call 401-222-8022 for help.


211 Support for Vaccination Registration

People who live, work, or go to school in Rhode Island can now get additional support when scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. People can call 2-1-1 to talk to a live, trained person who can offer help in multiple languages when scheduling appointments on VaccinateRI.org or signing up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Notification List on portal.ri.gov. This help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about COVID-19 vaccination in Rhode Island, visit RIDOH’s COVID-19 Vaccine page.


Who is Being Vaccinated Now?

You can always check eligibility and see who is currently being vaccinated 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

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).