PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Anyone in Rhode Island who wants to be vaccinated can now walk into two of the state’s mass vaccination sites on Friday and Saturday.
As of this week, anyone 16 years and older became eligible to receive a vaccine. Anyone can show up at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. or Sockanosset Crossroads in Cranston from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. to get one.
During Thursday’s weekly COVID-19 briefing, state leaders announced they will be hosting walk-up vaccine clinics at the two sites on Friday and Saturday. No appointment is needed.
Thomas McCarthy, executive director of Rhode Island’s COVID-19 response team, says this is a pilot program they will use to learn from and adjust moving forward.
Part of the reason the state can offer the opportunity is that they have more vaccine available than ever before, according to McCarthy.
Though supply is currently outpacing demand, McCarthy says that doesn’t mean people aren’t interested in getting vaccinated, but rather it reflects their sense of urgency.
“I think traditionally when large age groups have opened, people have recognized it’s taken me several weeks to find an appointment,” he said. “So I think that’s part of it, but again we are going to continue to learn and adjust and make sure it’s as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated.”
Despite the walk-up clinics over the next two days, McCarthy still says registering in advance is always best.
Another 12,000 appointments will be posted on VaccinateRI.org at 5 p.m. Friday.
Data released Thursday by the Health Department shows more than a third of the state’s population is now fully vaccinated, while nearly half the population is at least partially vaccinated.