Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) today announced that COVID-19 vaccine eligibility has been expanded to all Rhode Islanders 16 and older.

Thousands of appointments are currently available on vaccinateRI.org, and an additional 9,000 appointments will be posted tomorrow. Many of these appointments are for Pfizer vaccine. People 16 years of age and older can get Pfizer vaccine. Any high school students who are 16 and older and who are on spring vacation are encouraged to consider getting vaccinated. (Young adults who are getting vaccinated can be accompanied by a parent or guardian.)

“This is a big day here in Rhode Island,” said Governor Dan McKee in a statement. “It’s the one we’ve all been working towards. The ability to open up vaccinations for all Rhode Islanders 16 and older while leading the nation in most fully vaccinated seniors is a great place to be in as we aim to get every eligible community member vaccinated. Please sign up for your shot today. If you need assistance, dial 211. I thank our team at RIDOH, health care workers, municipal leaders, community volunteers and everyone who has stepped up to make our vaccination efforts successful so far. Let’s keep up this pace across all age groups and vaccinate the Ocean State.”

“We’re working to get our vaccination rates as high as possible in every community throughout Rhode Island, especially those communities that have been harder hit by COVID-19, such as our communities of color,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH in a statement. “I have been vaccinated, and I’m encouraging my family and friends to do the same. COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most effective tools you have to protect yourself and the people you love from COVID-19.”

According to CDC data, RIDOH says that Rhode Island leads the nation in percentage of people 65 and older who are fully vaccinated at 80.9 percent. The national average in this age group is 64.4 percent. Rhode Island is also in the top five states for the percentage of the total population with at least one dose of vaccine at 43.6 percent. The national average is 38.4 percent.

Rhode Islanders 16 and older can sign up for an available appointment at vaccinateRI.org. If you would like to be contacted when an appointment is available, please pre-register for the Vaccine Interest Notification List at portal.ri.gov. Have questions? Call 211. 

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Ryan M. Belmore

Ryan M. Belmore is the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and serves on the Board of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and Lucy's Hearth. Send questions, tips, and story ideas to Ryan@whatsupnewp.com.