McKee, RIDOH go door-to-door to encourage vaccinations


NEWPORT, R.I. (WPRI) — Nearly 79% of Rhode Islanders 18 and older have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to date, but the state is working on targeting communities where rates are much lower.

With just 53% of residents with at least one dose of the vaccine and nearly 51% fully vaccinated, Newport has one of the lowest vaccination rates in Rhode Island right now.

On Wednesday afternoon, the R.I. Department of Health, along with Gov. Dan McKee, and Newport city leaders will be out knocking on doors and sharing educational materials ahead of a vaccine clinic at Miantonomi Memorial Park.

Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson shots will be offered at Wednesday’s clinic from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., in addition to boxes of healthy food. Health insurance or ID’s are not required and appointments aren’t necessary. Vaccinations are free of charge.

The same kind of outreach was done in Woonsocket last month, which also has low vaccination rates.

When vaccines began being offered to the general population, shots were offered in regional or municipal clinics, pharmacies, and eventually mass vaccination sites.

As the state targets those who are not yet vaccinated yet, more unique opportunities to get vaccinated are being offered.

Pop-up clinics are also being held at three Rhode Island Dunkin’ Donuts locations on Wednesday. Appointments are encouraged, but not required.

Lifespan, in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, held a mobile vaccine clinic at Kennedy Plaza in Providence on Tuesday, and will bring Blue Cross Blue Shield’s “Your Blue Bus.”

The bus will also host additional clinics next month, with the next one scheduled for Aug. 5 in Pawtucket.

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