Rhode Islanders ages 40 to 49 and all adults in Woonsocket are now eligible to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The latest age group officially become eligible to register to get vaccinated Monday in Rhode Island. But eligibility opened to Woonsocket residents over the age of 16 a day earlier, on Sunday, because that community has been harder hit by the pandemic.
The eligibility expansion in Woonsocket is part of ongoing efforts to get vaccines into communities hardest hit by COVID-19, according to Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee. The area includes residents in West Warwick, Providence, Cranston, North Providence, East Providence and Johnston.
“We continue to vaccinate as many people as our vaccine allocation allows,” McKee said. “Our increased capacity to get shots in arms puts us on track to meet the President’s recommendation that all adults are eligible for vaccination by April 19.”
For the week of March 28 to April 3, Woonsocket had 128 new cases of COVID-19, an increase of 21% from the previous week. In addition, Woonsocket has the lowest vaccination coverage rate of any community where age eligibility has not yet been expanded.
Rhode Island is also running equity-focused COVID-19 vaccination clinics at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence and the state-run vaccination site in Woonsocket next weekend.
“This approach is reflective of our larger vision at the Rhode Island Department of Health that all Rhode Islanders in every ZIP code should have an equal opportunity to be healthy," Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott said.
Roughly 20,000 appointments went live Sunday on www.vaccinateRI.org for people who are currently eligible.
People who cannot register online for an appointment at a state-run vaccination site can get help by calling 844-930-1779 or 211. In addition to appointments at state-run sites, people can get vaccinated at retail pharmacies and local and regional vaccination sites.
People who are not eligible yet to get vaccinated can pre-register by signing up for the Vaccine Interest Notification List at www.portal.ri.gov. People will be notified by email, text or phone when they are eligible and there is an available appointment.
There is no insurance requirement to get vaccinated in Rhode Island and no one has to pay to get vaccinated.