Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) provided the following COVID-19 vaccination update on Friday afternoon.

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, 584,379 people have received one dose of vaccine and 433,399 people are now fully vaccinated. See the data.

We are now seventh in the country 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 third in the country for vaccinating people age 65 and older.

Approximately 90% of our teachers, school staff, and childcare workers are now fully vaccinated. So many of our teachers and staff are helping to keep our community and kids safe. This has contributed to a decline in cases of COVID-19 among teachers.

Everyone should get vaccinated. Vaccines are safe and highly effective. If you have been thinking about getting your shot, but have not done so yet, do it today and you will be on your way to enjoying a safer Rhode Island summer.


Strategic Approach for Vaccination

We are working strategically to connect with those remaining people who have not been vaccinated.

There are currently approximately 280,000 Rhode Islanders, age 16 or older, who have not been vaccinated. They are people who–for one reason or another–are unwilling to get vaccinated; who are uncertain whether to get vaccinated; and who want to get vaccinated but have not done it yet.

Our strategy is to bring the vaccine clinics to these people–to bring them into work sites, schools, churches, community centers, grocery stores, and other settings. We are getting out the word through billboards, highway signs, emails, and texts to ensure that every Rhode Islander is given every opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

We are starting vaccine clinics at businesses, including Citizen’s Bank, AAA Northeast, Dave’s Fresh Marketplace, Paolino Properties, and Calise Bakery.

High schools in almost all 39 cities and towns have signed on to either host on-campus clinics or are partnering with local municipal or State sites to offer shots to our eligible teenagers and their families.


Vaccination for Children, Age 16 and Younger

Children younger than age 16 cannot be vaccinated right now. However, this may soon change. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reviewing evidence from clinical trials and is considering Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer vaccine to be used in children age 12 to 15.

This is one reason why a greater proportion of our COVID-19 cases in Rhode Island are now among children. While we are not seeing a lot of transmission in schools, the proportion of our COVID-19 cases among children have gone up.

The same is true across the country. Nationally, children now account for 22% of new COVID-19 cases, compared to around 3% one year ago.


Equity Focused Vaccination Clinics

This Saturday and Sunday, we will hold Equity Focused Vaccination Clinics at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center for second dose appointments. Please make sure to get your second shot.

If you have a friend or family member who did not get a first shot, please have them come with you at this time. Appointments are not needed.


No Appointments Needed

We are working to make vaccination as easy, convenient, and accessible as possible.

If you want to get vaccinated at one of the State-run sites, making an appointment in advance at www.vaccinateRI.org is still the best way to go, but appointments are no longer needed to get vaccinated at three State-run sites: 

  • 100 Sockanosset Cross Road, Cranston, which is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Parking is available behind the building.
     
  • Dunkin’ Donuts Center, 1 La Salle Square, Providence, which is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Three hours of free parking are available in North Garage at 114 West Exchange St. Accessible parking is available in front of the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Volunteers are available to direct people to the clinic.
     
  • 1400 West Main Road, Middletown, which is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Appointments are also no longer needed to get vaccinated at 80 select CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and Stop & Shop pharmacy locations throughout the state.

To find a vaccine site near you, view RIDOH’s Vaccine Site Locator.


Contacting Senior Citizens for Vaccination

Rhode Island has one of the highest rates of vaccinated seniors in the nation.

We know that there are approximately 13,000 seniors that are not yet vaccinated.

Older adults can go to C19VaccineRI.org to learn how to request to get the vaccine at their homes. We are also planning to reach older adults who have not been vaccinated by phone to coordinate at-home vaccinations. This is an expansion of the program we started for homebound Rhode Islanders.

If you are 75 or older in Rhode Island, not fully vaccinated, and get COVID-19, you have a 50% chance of being hospitalized.

If you are an older adult who has not been vaccinated, please get vaccinated to keep yourself out of the hospital.


Remember to Get Your Second Shot

If you missed your second dose appointment or were unable to schedule a second dose appointment while you were at the site where you received your first dose, appointments are available at VaccinateRI.org or by phone at 844-930-1779 or 2-1-1.

At VaccinateRI.org, please select the vaccine brand you received at your first appointment in the search tool to find applicable vaccination clinics. For additional assistance, please contact RIDOH.COVID19Questions@health.ri.gov.


Vaccination for People Who Had COVID-19

It is important to get vaccinated even if you have tested positive for COVID-19 previously.

Even if you had COVID-19, your body may not have had a strong immune response. However, we KNOW that vaccines lead to very strong protection.

When we get vaccinated, we not only protect ourselves. We also protect the people around us, including children.


Approximately 70% of Rhode Islanders Partially Vaccinated

We set out a goal of getting 70% of eligible Rhode Islanders at least partially vaccinated by the end of this week. This is ahead of the goal shared by President Joe Biden to get 70% of all eligible Americans vaccinated by July 4.

We are nearly there with the number of Rhode Islanders age 16 and older who are vaccinated, and vaccinated people who work or go to school in Rhode Island.

As of Thursday, 65% of Rhode Islanders have received at least one dose of vaccine. We have administered more than 950,000 doses total.


Teen Helps More Than 50 People Get Vaccinated 

A 16-year-old from Burrillville, Jake Soares, helped get COVID-19 vaccine appointments for more than 50 people. Thank you, Jake, for helping to vaccinate the Ocean State! 

Learn more about how Jake helped people get vaccine appointments.


Public Health Out Loud Podcast

RIDOH’s Public Health Out Loud Podcast talks about vaccine safety and pregnancy in the latest episode co-hosted by Dr. James McDonald and Dr. Philip Chan. 
 
Listen to more Public Health Out Load Podcast episodes at PublicHealthRI.buzzsprout.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 on RIDOH’s COVID-19 Vaccine page.  

More from What’s Up Newp

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).