In concert with current state guidelines, appointments will be limited to those 75 and older
This story was updated 8:30 a.m. on 2/6/21.
Some CVS and Walgreens stores in Rhode Island will be offering the COVID-19 vaccines this coming week, according to the R.I. Dept. of Health. As vaccine supplies expand, vaccinations will be offered at pharmacies across the state.
They will be following the state’s guidelines so they will only be offering appointments to those 75 and older right now.
Here’s the information you need:
CVS: Vaccines in select retail pharmacies (including at 1285 South County in EG) will be offered on an appointment-only basis via cvs.com or through the CVS Pharmacy app, and those without online access can contact customer service: 1-800-746-7287. The dates keep shifting but a CVS pharmacy employee told us people should try to book an appointment starting Feb. 9; vaccinations are due to begin Feb. 12.
Walgreens: Appointments can be made at select retail pharmacies through Walgreens’ updated appointment scheduler at Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine or by calling retail pharmacies. Appointments will become available for booking as early as Feb. 7.
The state vaccination approach will mirror the state’s testing approach – a combination of public and private sites, Alexander-Scott said.
“There are many different locations throughout the state where you can go now [for testing] – lots of different ways to get tested in Rhode Island,” she said. “That success, that framework, is what we want to bring to vaccination.”
Right now, most vaccines in the state are being distributed through regional “PODs” (places of distribution), like the one at Swift Community Center in East Greenwich. The pharmacy program will expand distribution and, once there is more vaccine coming into the state, Alexander-Scott said the state would open 10 to 12 state-run larger vaccine distribution sites.
“We can generally say we have focused on getting it to our most vulnerable residents,” she said, acknowledging it has been “bumpy” at times but with a good result – i.e. more vaccine in more arms sooner. As of the press briefing, the state had given out 108,924 doses of vaccine so far.
Alexander-Scott said that was true of the more than 5,000 doses of vaccine being administered this week at regional PODs. “We were able to free up 5,000 doses of vaccine for municipalities to be able to vaccinate people 75 and older.”
Those people were due to get the vaccine in a week or two; by moving it out to the PODs sooner, those at greatest risk were vaccinated ahead of schedule.
“Because it was bumpy … we have been using the lessons learned from that experience,” she said. “We’re gathering feedback in real time and looking ahead.”
Meanwhile, Alexander-Scott said she was encouraged that confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to trend downward, as do hospitalizations. But she warned virus variants that have appeared in many other states are either here already or will be here before long so residents need to remain vigilant.
She said the DOH would be offering more information about high-quality masks in coming days and said as a general rule to avoid, other than at home or work, being indoors for more than an hour, especially if the location was not well ventilated.
Since March, Rhode Island has 117,291 confirmed cases of COVID; East Greenwich has had 1,347 confirmed cases – 10 percent of the town’s total population. Rhode Island has seen a total of 2,209 virus-related deaths, with 11 of those from East Greenwich.
During the last week of January, EG had 62 confirmed cases (a 4.7 percent positivity rate), compared to 82 the week previous and down from a peak of 118 four weeks ago.
You can find all the state’s COVID-19 data HERE and specific municipal data HERE. Find information about the vaccine and the state’s distribution plans HERE. Below is the state’s distribution timeline (which is subject to change depending on how much vaccine comes into the state).