Vaccine Updates: Teachers Get First Shot

by | Mar 11, 2021

 60-64 Year Olds Eligible & Medically Compromised Can Book Appointments Friday

The pace of vaccination just keeps getting faster, with many East Greenwich School District teachers and staff getting first doses Thursday afternoon at a special vaccination clinic at Swift Community Center.

Meanwhile, Gov. Dan McKee announced on Thursday that starting Friday (3/12), appointments would open for people age 60 to 64 and all those 16 and older with “specific underlying health conditions.”

“Our goal is to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible, and opening eligibility to this next group of Rhode Islanders is an important and encouraging step toward that goal,” McKee said in a press statement. “We will continue to build out and increase our state’s vaccination capacity to ensure we are prepared to get shots in arms when the vaccine supply increases.” 

New appointments at Rhode Island’s State-run vaccination sites will be added to www.VaccinateRI.org beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday. (New appointments are regularly added on Tuesdays beginning at 9 a.m. and Fridays beginning at 5 p.m.) Walgreens and CVS expect to adjust their eligibility criteria to take appointments for people in these two groups at 11 a.m. on Friday.

The underlying conditions include diabetes (type 1 or type 2); lung disease (such as COPD, emphysema, or cystic fibrosis); heart disease; or kidney disease. People age 16 to 64 are also eligible if they have a weakened immune system. That includes people who have cancer, people who get chemotherapy or radiation, people who have HIV/AIDS, people who have sickle cell disease, people who take medicine that weakens the immune system, and people who are pregnant. Find the full list of qualifying conditions HERE

In addition to retail pharmacies and the three State-run vaccination sites, Rhode Islanders are also getting vaccinated at city- and town-run clinics and through hospital systems, community health centers, and other targeted locations. City- and town-run sites are currently focused on administering second doses to people who are 75 and older and on vaccinating teachers, school staff, and child care workers. On Tuesday Governor Dan McKee announced a plan to get first doses to all teachers, school staff, and child care workers at these sites by the end of March.

In addition to retail pharmacies and the three State-run vaccination sites, Rhode Islanders are also getting vaccinated at city- and town-run clinics and through hospital systems, community health centers, and other targeted locations. City- and town-run sites are currently focused on administering second doses to people who are 75 and older and on vaccinating teachers, school staff, and child care workers. On Tuesday Governor Dan McKee announced a plan to get first doses to all teachers, school staff, and child care workers at these sites by the end of March.

People who are not yet eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19 can sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Notification List by visiting portal.ri.gov. Rhode Island is using this list to let people know when they are eligible to make a vaccination appointment. The State-run vaccination sites are also using this list to identify and contact Rhode Islanders if they anticipate having any unused doses in open vials as they near the end of the day, beginning with currently eligible groups. People who need help being added to the Vaccine Interest Notification List can call 844-930-1779.

People who live, work, or go to school in Rhode Island can now get additional support when scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. People can call 2-1-1 to talk to a live, trained person, who can offer help in multiple languages when scheduling appointments on VaccinateRI.org or signing up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Notification List. RIDOH is working with the United Way to provide this free support for all Rhode Islanders, including those with technical challenges and barriers, the deaf and hard of hearing community, those who speak a language other than English, and people with speech disabilities. This help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For more information about COVID-19 vaccination in Rhode Island, visit RIDOH’s COVID-19 Vaccine page.

People who are 16 and 17 are only eligible to receive Pfizer vaccine. This may mean that it may be more challenging for these people to make appointments initially.

There is no insurance requirement to get vaccinated in Rhode Island, and no one has to pay to get vaccinated. 

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