PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Following recommendations put forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the R.I. Department of Health is making booster shots of the Pfizer vaccine available for more Rhode Islanders.
The CDC endorsed booster shots for certain populations on Thursday, stating that the vaccines should be offered to people ages 65 and older, nursing home residents and those ages 50 to 64 who have risky underlying health problems.
Americans ages 18-64 who are health care workers or have jobs that put them at an increased risk of being exposed to the virus are also eligible for a booster shot.
The additional shot would be administered six months after they received their second dose.
Starting Friday, booster shots are being made available to Rhode Islanders who qualify. Under the CDC’s recommended guidelines, the Health Department estimates that 130,000 Rhode Islanders are eligible for an additional dose.
“Rhode Island was well prepared for COVID-19 booster shot administration. I am pleased to see that eligible Rhode Islanders are already stepping up to get their booster shots,” Gov. Dan McKee said. “Rhode Island continues to lead the nation in vaccinations and testing and we will continue to lead as we begin administering booster shots.”
Data released Friday shows that nearly 68% of Rhode Islanders are fully vaccinated against the virus.
The Health Department also reported three additional deaths and 348 new cases.
The data also reveals Rhode Island has a 1.8% positivity rate, with 19,642 tests administered the previous day.
COVID-19 hospitalizations fell to 126 Friday, with 16 patients in the ICU and 13 on ventilators, according to the Health Department.
The state remains in the “high transmission” category as set by the CDC, with the rate of new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days increasing to 213. The CDC uses that rate to track community transmission of the virus.