COVID-19 vaccine eligibility opens to Rhode Islanders 65 and older

COVID-19 vaccine eligibility opens to Rhode Islanders 65 and older

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Health has announced that COVID-19 vaccination eligibility is now open to all Rhode Islanders 65 years of age and older.

People ages 65 and older can register to be vaccinated at one of two state-run vaccination sites, located in Providence at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center and in Cranston at Sockanosset Cross Road. To register to be vaccinated at a state-run site, visit www.VaccinateRI.org . People who cannot register online can call the automated line at 844-930-1779. Those ages 65 and older can also register to be vaccinated at select CVS or Walgreens retail pharmacies, or through their city and town. (However, appointments may not be immediately available for all eligible Rhode Islanders. For example, many cities and towns are continuing to vaccinate their oldest residents first, and supply of vaccine remains limited at all sites.) Instructions on how to register at all three types of locations are available online at https://health.ri.gov/publications/flyers/paths-to-covid-vaccination.pdf .

RIDOH said approximately 9,900 Rhode Islanders were vaccinated at the two-state run sites over their first three days of operation, and that more than 10,000 new appointments will be made available Monday, Feb. 22. More than 203,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to date in Rhode Island, according to RIDOH.

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

RIDOH also announced that as the state’s vaccine administration rate increases, Rhode Island has seen declines in cases and hospitalizations. The state’s percent positivity was at or below 2 percent several days last week, and there was a decline in cases and percent positive in all age groups. Rhode Island has seen decreases among health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities – the focus groups for the first portion of the state’s vaccination campaign, according to RIDOH. Rhode Island’s daily hospital admissions are down 47 percent since the last month.

This data situation allows Rhode Island to plan the suspension of patient care at its two alternate hospital sites. RIDOH announced that the last day for patient care at the Rhode Island Convention Center hospital will be Feb. 26, and the last day for patient care at the alternate hospital site at Sockanosset Cross Road will likely be in the next two to three weeks.

RIDOH said after all patients are discharged, each facility will be cleaned and sanitized. The equipment and supplies will remain at the two alternate hospital sites, should a surge in hospitalizations require them to be reactivated.

Since the alternate hospital sites opened for patient care, they have treated 633 patients: 444 patients at the Rhode Island Convention Center alternate hospital site and 208 patients at Sockanosset Cross Road, according to RIDOH.