The Rhode Island Department of Health provided the following vaccination update via email on Friday.

Rhode IslandCOVID-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,354,736peoplehave received one dose of vaccine. A total of237,843 peoplehave received two doses of vaccine.See the data.

We continue to be in thetop 10 statesnationally for the number of people who have received at least one dose andfourthin the countryfor the number of people fully vaccinated. We have administered more than a half a million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in our state.

We have more and more vaccine coming into Rhode Island every week. We administered 67,059 doses of vaccine last week, and anticipate administering 72,000 doses this week.

Approximately 12,000 COVID-19 vaccination appointments will be posted onwww.vaccinateRI.orgthis Friday at 5 p.m. This will be the largest batch of appointments to be released to date.


COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Opens for Next Group

COVID-19 vaccination eligibility will open next week for people age 50 to 59.

Beginning Monday, April 5, people age 50 to 59 can sign up to be vaccinated at pharmacies, and at local and regional vaccination sites. Starting Tuesday, April 5, they can also sign up for appointments at State-run sites onwww.vaccinateRI.org. New appointments for State-run sites open every Tuesday at 9 a.m. and every Friday at 5 p.m.

Between now and April 19, we are going to continue to open eligibility to different age groups, as you can see on ourupdated timeline.


New Regional Clinics to Open

New regional vaccination clinics will open next week in Westerly, East Providence, and Johnston.

Appointments are required at all vaccination sites. People can make appointments throughwww.vaccinateRI.org. If you need help scheduling an appointment, please call the automated phone line at 844-930-1779.

The new regional clinics will operate at the following locations on different days:

  • The Westerly site at the Westerly Senior Citizens Center, 39 State St., will operate on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
  • The East Providence clinic at the East Providence Senior Center, 610 Waterman Ave., will run on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
  • And, the Johnston site at the Johnston Recreation Center, 1741 Atwood Ave., will operate on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2 until 7 p.m.

These days and times may change and expand as we get more vaccine. Each of these clinics will administer 1,200 doses a week.


Vaccine Access for ALL Rhode Islanders

We are working to eliminate barriers to vaccination and increase ease of access. We want vaccine to be as accessible as possible for ALL Rhode Islanders.

To increase ease of access, we have worked to get vaccine to a number of specialty populations. This includes:

  • More than 6,000 doses to people with intellectual or developmental disabilities through targeted outreach.
  • More than 1,000 doses to homebound Rhode Island residents through partnerships with agencies to vaccinate people where they live.
  • More than 600 doses to people experiencing homelessness through collaboration with community organizations.

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, you can visitcovid.ri.gov/vaccination, call 211, or Rhode Island’s Office of Healthy Aging Help desk, the “Point,” at 401-462-4444.


Vaccine Interest Notification List

To learn when you are eligible for vaccination or 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 atportal.ri.govor by calling 844-930-1779.

We will send out notifications each Wednesday, starting April 7. We may also contact you on other days if there are available appointments.

When a slot opens up for you, we will contact you using your preferred method of contact.

You will be offered an appointment day and location. The day will be roughly two weeks in the future and the location will be one of our five State-run sites: the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Sockanosset Cross Road, Middletown, South County, or Woonsocket. You may be able to choose an appointment time, depending on availability.

The link you get to register for an appointment can only be used once and is valid for 24 hours. If a person does not respond within 24 hours, their spot will be made available to someone else and they will return to the waiting list.

As of Thursday, April 1, approximately 79,000 people were signed up on VINL.

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 towww.vaccinateRI.orgor by calling 844-930-1779. 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.


Vaccination Efforts Per Age Group

We continue to vaccinate our more vulnerable populations, who are most likely to have serious health outcomes from COVID-19. Approximately 84% of people age 65 to 74 and 80% of people age 75 and older have been vaccinated.

The following eligible groups have also received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine:

  • 79% of people age 75 and older;
  • 84% of people age 70to 74;
  • 80% of people age 65to 69;
  • And 56% of people age 60to 64.


Vaccination Efforts for Hard-Hit Communities

We have been doing some important planning with our Equity Council and we have plans to narrow the gaps that still exist and focus on our communities that have been harder hit, such as our communities of color.

We have been working with Providence 311 and the Beat COVID line in Pawtucket and Central Falls to get appointments for people in these hard-hit communities at both the Dunkin’ Donuts Center and Sockanosset sites.


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.”

Highlighted Resource: Why Are You Getting Vaccinated?

Representatives from RIDOH recently checked in at the Middletown COVID-19 vaccination site to see how vaccinations are going. Watch this video to hear what the COVID-19 vaccine means for people and their families. For more information about getting vaccinated in Rhode Island, visit C19vaccineRI.org.


 

VIDEO: National Academy of Medicine Members Urge Black Americans to Get Vaccinated

In this video, Black members of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), the premier health science organization in the United States, are encouraging Black Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them.

The members, who are Black scientists, doctors, nurses, public health experts, and other health professional members of the NAM, say that they have reviewed the research and have confidence in the vaccines. Some of the 60 members have participated in the development of the vaccines.

Black Americans stand a much greater chance of negative outcomes from COVID-19, making it all the more urgent that they have access to and get the vaccine. The video was produced by TuckerGurl Inc (tuckergurl.com).

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 onRIDOH’s COVID-19 Vaccine page.

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.