Health officials are urging everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19, saying it’s safe, effective, and the best way to protect yourself and those around you against severe illness.
In Rhode Island and Massachusetts, people 5 and older are eligible to get vaccinated and can do so at a variety of locations including community clinics and pharmacies. The kid-sized dose for the 5-11 age group, which was given federal approval in November, is about a third of what’s given to adults and teenagers.
At this time, only the Pfizer vaccine is available to people under the age of 18.
To maximize protection, the CDC recommends that everyone ages 12 and older get a booster dose after completing the primary vaccination series (at least five months after second Pfizer or Moderna shot, or two months after Johnson & Johnson).
In late March, the FDA approved and the CDC recommended an additional booster for individuals who are 50 and older or immunocompromised.
The vaccine is free and health insurance is not required.
Here’s everything else you need to know:
Getting Vaccinated in Rhode Island
Where: Clinics for different age groups are being held at locations around the state, including community centers and schools. The vaccine is also available at participating pharmacies and doctor’s offices.
How: While appointments are not required at many clinics, it’s best to book a slot ahead of time to ensure availability and reduce wait times. Visit VaccinateRI.org or call 844-930-1779 to make an appointment.
- CVS Health: Schedule an appointment »
- Walgreens: Schedule an appointment »
- Stop & Shop: Schedule an appointment »
- Walmart: Schedule an appointment »
Select independent pharmacies are posting their appointments on VaccinateRI.org.
Who: Anyone 5 and older can get vaccinated. In the spring, the state removed the residency requirement so people visiting Rhode Island can also get vaccinated if they choose.
If you’re unable to get to a vaccination site, RIPTA is offering rides to appointments, along with rideshare services Uber and Lyft. Vaccinations are also available for homebound individuals through the city or town in which they live.
Getting Vaccinated in Massachusetts
Similar to Rhode Island, anyone 5 and older is eligible to get vaccinated. Visit VaxFinder.mass.gov to see available appointments, or call 211 or (877) 211-6277 for assistance.
Walk-in vaccinations are accepted seven days a week at mass vaccination sites, meaning an appointment is not required. Retail pharmacies that are offering the vaccine are also listed on Vaxfinder.mass.gov.
People who are homebound can call (833) 983-0485 to schedule an at-home vaccination.
If you need public transportation, state officials suggest using the MBTA Trip Planner.
Latest COVID-19 Vaccine Headlines
Rhode Island Testing
In addition to vaccinations, health officials say testing is a critical part of preventing the spread of the coronavirus. The R.I. Department of Health recommends getting tested if you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or plan to travel out of state.
Health officials also say people who are not fully vaccinated should get tested weekly.
Tests are free and to schedule an appointment, visit portal.ri.gov, call (401) 222-8022, or go through your health care provider. Some communities are also offering rapid testing on specific dates and times.
Like Rhode Island, coronavirus testing is widely available at sites across Massachusetts, and home testing is also available at no cost to all eligible adults.
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911.