NORTH KINGSTOWN – In an effort to drive up vaccine rates and reach populations still unvaccinated, Governor Dan McKee, the Rhode Island Department of Health and the state’s Department of Transportation this week announced the opening of a drive-through COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Wickford Junction Train Station Parking Garage at 1011 Ten Rod Road. The free and public clinic will be on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. beginning this week.
McKee said the site and its drive-through component were intended to reach a demographic that has yet to get the vaccine.
“It takes many different approaches to drive our vaccination numbers across every age band,” he said. “We now know that drive-through vaccination clinics really work to reach people from all over the State who are more comfortable getting vaccinated from the comfort of their vehicle. If you haven’t received your shot yet, please use this opportunity; you never even have to leave your car and can bring pets along if you choose. Let’s vaccinate the Ocean State.”
Anyone age 12 or older can get vaccinated at this site. Individuals can get either a first or second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. If an individual has already received a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, they must ensure it has been at least 21 days since their first dose in order to receive their second. This clinic is open to Rhode Islanders and people who live in other states or who may be visiting. Appointments are recommended, but they are not required. Individuals seeking vaccination must arrive in a vehicle. No walk-ups will be accepted.
The public drive-through approach enables Rhode Islanders from across the state the opportunity to get vaccinated and conduct their observation period without leaving a vehicle. This clinic will take place in the Wickford Junction Train Station parking garage and will be held rain or shine.
“RIDOT is proud to host this clinic and support Governor McKee’s initiative to get every Rhode Islander vaccinated,” said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti.
The development comes as Rhode Island recently achieved President Joe Biden’s goal of vaccinating 70 percent or more of the state’s total population. According to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control, over 630,000 Rhode Islanders are now fully vaccinated. Rhode Island has a population of 1.059 million people, according to the 2020 Census.
McKee also this week announced a new grant incentive program in partnership with The Rhode Island Foundation to increase vaccinations within the state, creating a COVID-19 Vaccination Incentive Fund of $750,000 to be allocated in $10,000 grant awards to local and area nonprofit organizations. New rounds of awards will be granted each time Rhode Island administers an additional 5,000 first COVID-19 vaccine doses as reported by the Rhode Island Department of Health.
“I’m really proud of the vaccine incentive program the State and our partners at Rhode Island Foundation have designed,” said McKee. “We did intentional research and reflection to create a program that celebrates the spirit of Rhode Island, sustains the importance of getting all Rhode Islanders vaccinated over time, and provides support back to the organizations that are getting our most vulnerable neighbors through the pandemic.”
Applications opened yesterday and must be submitted by 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations located within Rhode Island by July 13, 2021 to be eligible for the first round of grant awards. Applications will be accepted through July 30, 2021. The grants are, according to the state, intended to be distributed to nonprofits with annual operating budgets under $3 million in 2020.
"Rhode Island's successful vaccination efforts to date are a key reason for our state's strong re-emergence from the pandemic," said Rhode Island Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor. "This effort will help us build upon our positive momentum – by encouraging more Rhode Islanders to do the right thing for themselves and for their community. We thank Governor McKee for his continued leadership and the Rhode Island Foundation for this important partnership."
To register for an appointment at the Wickford site, visit www.vaccinateri.org or call 844-930-1779.