PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Friday was the first day in-store vaccinations could begin in CVS stores participating in a federal pharmacy program, but you may have trouble finding an available appointment right away.
Friday morning, all appointments for CVS locations offering the vaccine in Rhode Island and Massachusetts were fully booked. Depending on when you go online, the website may tell you to come back later.
Seven locations in Rhode Island and three in Southeastern Massachusetts currently offer vaccine appointments.
The R.I. Department of Health (RIDOH) says participating CVS and Walgreens locations will get 7,000 doses starting next week.
Pharmacies will be one of three types of locations eligible Rhode Islanders can go to get vaccinated.
Over the next four weeks, a total of 7,800 doses will be distributed to cities and towns weekly, based on population.
Pawtucket, for example, is beginning to offer two rotating vaccine clinics next Saturday. The mayor’s office told 12 News each clinic will get 480 doses.
Three regional clinics in Providence, Bristol and East Greenwich are also still operating.
Next Thursday, two state-run mass vaccination sites are also entering the mix.
The Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence will have the capacity to administer 500 doses a day to start, according to RIDOH, and the Sockanosett Cross Road in Cranston will have the ability to administer 900 per day.
RIDOH Medical Director Dr. James McDonald says he believes there might be enough vaccine for any Rhode Islander who wants it potentially as early as April.
“We’ll have to see if it can be that early, maybe May,” McDonald said.
“But, I’m optimistic about what I see with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and by the way I’m looking forward to hearing about the Novavax vaccines, which trial ends this Sunday,” he added.
An online portal and hotline is set to go live Wednesday for Rhode Islanders in the 75-and-older age group to book appointments for the mass vaccination sites.