PROVIDENCE — On Monday, vaccine eligibility expanded to all Rhode Islanders age 16 and older, marking the largest age demographic vaccines against COVID-19 have been available to since the state’s rollout.
Thousands of vaccine appointments at statewide clinics were available Monday, and another 9,000 were opened on Tuesday. The vaccine is also available at pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens. The majority of appointments newly opened up were for the Pfizer vaccine. The state is also encouraging high school students aged 16 and older to make an appointment.
“This is a big day here in Rhode Island,” said Governor Dan McKee. “It’s the one we’ve all been working towards. The ability to open up vaccinations for all Rhode Islanders 16 and older while leading the nation in most fully vaccinated seniors is a great place to be in as we aim to get every eligible community member vaccinated. Please sign up for your shot today. If you need assistance, dial 211. I thank our team at RIDOH, health care workers, municipal leaders, community volunteers and everyone who has stepped up to make our vaccination efforts successful so far. Let’s keep up this pace across all age groups and vaccinate the Ocean State.”
To date, 482,233 first doses have been administered in the state, and 333,476 people are fully vaccinated, for a total of 778,385 doses administered, according to data from the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH).
“We’re working to get our vaccination rates as high as possible in every community throughout Rhode Island, especially those communities that have been harder hit by COVID-19, such as our communities of color,” said Director of Health Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott. “I have been vaccinated, and I’m encouraging my family and friends to do the same. COVID-19 vaccine is one of the most effective tools you have to protect yourself and the people you love from COVID-19.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 133,266,995 Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 86,223,506 people are fully vaccinated, as of Tuesday. About 65 percent of those age 65 and older have received both a first and second dose, according to CDC.
In terms of data around the virus itself, Rhode Island reported 318 new positive cases last week, down from the previous week’s total. Rhode Island also declined in percent positivity, down to 2.3 percent last week compared to 2.5 percent in the previous week. However, the state rose in new hospitalizations, with 159 people admitted to the hospital for the virus last week compared to the previous week’s 143 people. Finally, an additional three fatalities were reported, bringing the state’s total number of deaths from the pandemic to 2,654.
Currently, 30 people are in the intensive care unit and 23 people are on a ventilator.
Rhode Islanders 16 and older can sign up for an available appointment at vaccinateRI.org or by booking an appointment through CVS or Walgreens. If you would like to be contacted when an appointment is available, please pre-register for the Vaccine Interest Notification List at portal.ri.gov. Call 211 with any questions.