The Rhode Island Department of Health provided the following COVID-19 Vaccination Update via email on Friday. What’s Up Newp is sharing the entire email with our readers to help get these important updates and information out to as many people as possible.

Rhode Island COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) are writing to provide an update on Rhode Island’s COVID-19 vaccine efforts. As of this afternoon, 509,817 people have received one dose of vaccine. A total of 345,980 people are now fully vaccinated. 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 and sixth in the country for the number of people fully vaccinated. We are also tied for first in the country for vaccinating people age 65 and older. We have vaccinated more than 90% of Rhode Islanders age 65 to 74 and more than 80% of Rhode Islanders age 75 and older.

As of Thursday, one out of every two Rhode Islanders has at least one dose of vaccine. More than half a million people have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Rhode Island. We have fully vaccinated more than one third of the state.

On Friday, April 23, at 5 p.m., approximately 12,000 vaccine appointments will go live on vaccinateRI.org. If you need help scheduling an appointment, call the automated phone line at 844-930-1779.

Everyone should get vaccinated. Every shot in the arm gets us all closer to fireworks, parades, and summer celebrations with our families and friends.


Walk-in Vaccine Appointments

RIDOH will start to pilot same-day vaccination opportunities this week.

On Friday and Saturday, April 23 and 24, walk-in appointments will be available at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence and at the Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston. The Dunkin’ Donuts Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sockanosset will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Registering in advance is always best. You can also register for an appointment on the same day.

People can schedule an appointment online for a State-run or regional clinic at www.vaccinateRI.org. If you need help scheduling an appointment, call the automated phone line at 844-930-1779.

You can also schedule an appointment at a local pharmacy or with your city or town. You can find more information about making an appointment and answers to frequently asked questions on RIDOH’s COVID-19 Vaccine page.


Rhode Island to Lift Restrictions

The progress we have made in vaccinating Rhode Islanders means that we can continue to reopen with lower risk. However, activities are low risk for people who are fully vaccinated. For people who are partially vaccinated or not vaccinated, there is still a risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Depending on the activity, that risk could be medium or high.

Starting on May 7, we are changing mask-wearing from required to recommended outdoors as long as a three-foot distance can be maintained. Masks are still required indoors.

As of May 7 (that’s the week of Mother’s Day), all industry sectors – such as restaurants, gyms, and houses of worship – can return to 80% capacity with three-foot spacing inside and outside. As of May 28, we will lift all capacity limits and require only three feet of spacing with masks for indoor activities.

Attendance at catered events will increase to 200 indoors and 500 outdoors, and we are removing the testing requirement for catered events except for student-catered events like proms.

For more on eased restrictions, view the image below.  

What You Can Do Once Fully Vaccinated

The CDC recently updated recommendations for fully vaccinated people. View what you can do once fully vaccinated.

ALL Rhodes Islanders Now Eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccination eligibility opened last week for ALL Rhode Islanders, age 16 and older.

We had a very good start with this new group. Between Monday and Thursday of this week, more than 15,000 people age 16 to 39 made appointments. People in this age group represent more than 75% of all the registrations in the last week.

New appointments for State-run sites open every Tuesday at 9 a.m. and every Friday at 5 p.m.

At this time, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for people age 16 and older. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for people age 18 and older.

Why Those With Chronic Conditions, Prior COVID-19 Infection Should Get Vaccinated

Every person is different. There are some people who are at higher risk because they have a different health profile. One example is people who are immunocompromised.

Someone can be immunocompromised because of medications, chronic diseases such as diabetes, chronic infections such as HIV, and some cancers and cancer treatments.

If you are at a higher risk for a serious illness from COVID-19 because of your health profile, talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated. The vaccine can help protect you and those around you from severe illness from COVID-19.

You also should get vaccinated even if you have had COVID-19 in the past. It is unclear how long immunity lasts after natural infection once recovered from COVID-19. However, people who get COVID-19 can have serious illnesses, and some have debilitating symptoms that persist for months. Vaccination is the best protection and it is safe.

We know that the vaccines lead to very strong protection against infection. And we also know that not everyone with an infection, like those who had COVID-19 in the past, will develop a strong immune response. 

For people who were asymptomatic or had a mild case of COVID-19, the protection you get from the vaccine is stronger and more consistent than immunity from actually contracting COVID-19. 

And with the variants circulating, it is possible that immunity from one infection will not be as strong against infection from a different COVID-19 variant.

Please Cancel Appointments No Longer Needed

We are seeing more “no shows” at vaccination sites and last-minute cancellations. This may be because people make multiple appointments and forget to cancel the ones they do not use.

When this happens, we lose the opportunity to offer this appointment to another Rhode Islander.

If you cannot make it to your appointment, please cancel as early as possible. To cancel an appointment, click on the “cancel” option in your confirmation email or email RIDOH.COVID19Questions@health.ri.gov with your request.

Vaccine Interest Notification List

To learn when a vaccination appointment opens for you at one of our State-run sites, you can sign up for the Vaccine Interest Notification List (VINL). People can sign up at portal.ri.gov or by calling 844-930-1779.

VINL is one way you can register for vaccination. For other ways to register for vaccine and for more information about VINL, visit C19vaccineRI.org.

FEMA to Hire Staff For Community Vaccination Centers

FEMA is currently hiring non-medical vaccine support staff for community vaccination centers. You must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old, and possess a valid ID. The deadline to apply is May 3.

To apply or for more information, visit usajobs.gov and search for “FEMA.” 

Additional Resources 

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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