RI expanding vaccine eligibility to more hard-hit ZIP codes

Coronavirus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The number of hard-hit ZIP codes eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine is expanding to more parts of Rhode Island.

Woonsocket is expanding its eligibility Friday to all residents ages 18 and older, while certain ZIP codes in West Warwick, Cranston, North Providence and Johnston are expected to follow suit next week. Those ZIP codes include 02893, 02906, 02910, 02920, 02911, 02914 and 02919.

The cities of Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls have been offering shots to residents in certain communities for weeks now.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza tells 12 News that, while he’s got the doses, getting them into residents’ arms has proven to be a challenge.

“By definition, these are also harder-to-reach communities,” he said.

The city is holding three clinics this weekend at the Providence Career and Technical Academy. Elorza said their goal is to administer 2,000 shots during that time, but there’s still spots available.

“You know, it’s just a challenge,” Elorza said. “Our goal is to fill all of them up.”

The mayor said his team is working from the ground up by going door-to-door to businesses and homes, signing people up one-by-one.

“We want to break down all of those barriers and make it as easy as possible for people to get vaccinated,” he explained.

Elorza said about 25% of residents in all of the eligible communities have been vaccinated. He said while there is still a long way to go, all of the doses the city receives will be used.

“You can rest assured, not a single vaccine is going to waste,” he said.

The mayor said not everyone in the city has internet access, where they can receive alerts about appointment availability, and that’s part of what is making this a long-term process.

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