Roughly 20,000 vaccine appointment slots will open today at 5pm on www.vaccinateRI.org for people who are currently eligible to register.

People who cannot register online for an appointment at a State-run vaccination site can get help by calling 844-930-1779 or 2-1-1. In addition to appointments at State-run sites, people can get vaccinated at retail pharmacies and at local/regional vaccination sites.

As a part of ongoing efforts to get vaccine into communities hardest hit by COVID-19, Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced today that residents of Woonsocket who are 16 years of age and older are eligible to register to get vaccinated today.

Roughly 1,000 of the 20,000 vaccine appointments opening today will be at the Woonsocket site.

As outlined by Governor McKee at yesterday’s press conference, eligibility will further expand on Monday. On Monday, any Rhode Islander 40 to 49 years of age will be eligible to register to get vaccinated. Additionally, on Monday, residents of 02893 (West Warwick), 02906 (Providence), 02910 and 02920 (Cranston), 02911 (North Providence), 02914 (East Providence), and 02919 (Johnston), age 16 and older will be eligible.

“We continue to vaccinate as many people as our vaccine allocation allows,” said Governor McKee. “Our increased capacity to get shots in arms puts us on track to meet the President’s recommendation that all adults are eligible for vaccination by April 19.”

“Equity is a major focus for us in responding to the COVID-19 crisis. This means distributing vaccine in a way that is responsive to the reality that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on certain communities,” said Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, the Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health. “This approach is reflective of our larger vision at the Rhode Island Department of Health that all Rhode Islanders in every ZIP code should have an equal opportunity to be healthy.”

In addition to expanding age eligibility in communities most impacted by COVID-19, Rhode Island is running equity-focused COVID-19 vaccination clinics this weekend and next weekend at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence and at the State-run vaccination site in Woonsocket. 

Eligibility is opening to Woonsocket residents today, not Monday, because that community has been harder hit. For the week of March 28th to April 3rd, Woonsocket had 128 new cases of COVID-19, an increase of 21% from the previous week. In addition, Woonsocket has the lowest vaccination coverage rate of any community where age eligibility has not yet been expanded.

People who are not eligible yet to get vaccinated against COVID-19 can pre-register by signing up for the Vaccine Interest Notification List at www.portal.ri.gov. People will be notified by email, text, or phone call when they are eligible and there is an available appointment.

There is no insurance requirement to get vaccinated in Rhode Island, and no one has to pay to get vaccinated. For general information about COVID-19 vaccination in Rhode Island, visit C19vaccineRI.org.

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).