Rhode Islanders 75 and older can now register for an appointment to get the coronavirus vaccine at one of the two state-run vaccination sites.
Appointments will begin Feb. 18. Starting Monday, Feb. 22, scheduling will open to any Rhode Islander 65 and older.
Phase 1 of Rhode Island’s vaccination process has been focused on health care workers and people who are most likely to be hospitalized, including nursing home and other congregate residents, people in high-density communities and older Rhode Islanders.
Over the past month, Rhode Island saw a 46% decrease in hospitalizations, compared to 32% nationally and 22% in neighboring states, according to the department of public health.
Gov. Gina Raimondo decided to move forward with Phase 2 after seeing encouraging trends related to Phase 1.
Phase 2 involves vaccinating every Rhode Islander by age group, which the DPH said will allow for a "significantly faster pace of vaccination."
The state also plans to "dramatically" scale up capacity at the state-run sites, with more sites to come online in the northern and southern regions of Rhode Island and a goal of doubling the daily capacity at state-run sites from 1,400 to 2,800 over the coming weeks.
“With the success of Phase 1 in shoring up our health care system, and the ability for speed and scale in Phase 2, Rhode Island is well-positioned to stay ahead of COVID-19,” Raimondo said. “Now, with a single website and phone number to sign up for appointments at any of our state-run sites, we’re taking our successful testing model and bringing it to this final frontier in our fight to end this pandemic.”
The two state-run vaccination sites opening Thursday for anyone 75+ are the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence and the former Citizens Bank headquarters in Cranston -- Sockanosset Cross Road. Other options for vaccination still include going to a select retail pharmacy or a local or regional clinic.
Residents are being asked to only schedule an appointment in one place so that all eligible people can get vaccinated as quickly as possible. Once an appointment is made, people are guaranteed a vaccine for their time slot. Due to limited supply of the vaccine, appointments are expected to fill up quickly.
How to Register
To register to be vaccinated at one of the state-run sites, visit VaccinateRI.org. People who cannot register online can get help by calling the automated line at 844-930-1779.
Going forward, the call center will be open on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Through both systems, an individual can either make a personal appointment or an appointment for someone else who is in the eligible age category.
Appointments are currently open through Feb. 27. Additional appointments may be added through the week as slots open. Appointments are expected to fill up quickly.
To register at a pharmacy, people who are 75 and older can contact CVS or Walgreens about appointments by going to CVS.com, using the CVS Pharmacy phone app, or calling 800-746-7287. For Walgreens, go to Walgreens.com/ScheduleVaccine or call your local Walgreens.
Cities and towns are managing the registration process for local and regional clinics. Most cities and towns have been vaccinating their oldest residents first and will continue to do so. People can contact their city or town directly to learn more.