EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee joined community leaders Wednesday to showcase the opening of new regional vaccine distribution pods.
McKee was joined by officials from several cities and towns at the East Providence Senior Center.
The site is administering 1,200 doses a week for now, part of the 70,000 shots statewide, but the governor said the state can handle more than double that — it just needs the supply.
Earlier on Wednesday, McKee toured a similar clinic where school nurses distributed shots to residents at the Westerly Senior Center.
Officials said these sites give people in all parts of the state access to the vaccine if they want it, especially those who live far from the mass vaccination sites in Providence and Cranston.
The sites are open to any eligible Rhode Islander, no matter where they live. Another site is expected to open in Johnston later this week.
Appointments can be made on VaccinateRI.org.
“Every piece that we’re putting in place is critical,” he said. “Everywhere where we can get more and more people identified that they’re ready to get the shot, we’re going to be in a better spot when the supply starts meeting our demand.”
The governor said the state has built up the capacity to administer 160,000 shots per week, but he expects that to eventually grow to 200,000.
New data released Wednesday shows nearly 268,000 people in Rhode Island are fully vaccinated, while more than 634,000 total doses have been administered to date.
Hospitalizations continued to climb, according to the data, with 154 patients currently in the state’s medical facilities, including 25 in intensive care and 21 on ventilators.
The Health Department also reported 449 new positive cases on Wednesday and a daily positivity rate of 2.3%, with roughly 19,200 tests administered the previous day.
Another three Rhode Islanders have died after contracting COVID-19, bringing the reported death toll to 2,635.