PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Islanders in their fifties got their first chance at booking a vaccine appointment at one of the state-run vaccination sites Tuesday morning.
On Monday, people ages 50 and older became eligible to make an appointment through the state’s online portal, VaccinateRI.org. Gov. Dan McKee announced roughly 7,300 new appointments would be released at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
Appointments posted Tuesday included availability for the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, Sockanosset Cross Road, and new regional sites in Westerly, Johnston and East Providence.
This week will also mark the start of the use of Rhode Island’s vaccine pre-registration system. Health officials say roughly 50% of appointments at the state’s mass vaccination sites will go to people who have preregistered beginning Wednesday.
Rhode Islanders can pre-register to get vaccinated at a state-run vaccination site through the Vaccine Interest Notification List. To pre-register, visit portal.ri.gov or call (844) 930-1779. When an appointment opens up for someone who has pre-registered and who is age-eligible, a notification will be sent to that person with a one-time use link.
Health officials say appointments will be offered based on risk level.
“That means that even if you are age eligible, you might not get a slot that first week,” Tom McCarthy, executive director of the state’s COVID-19 Response Team said last Thursday.
The R.I. Department of Health (RIDOH) says eligible individuals will be contacted either through email, text message, or phone call, depending on their preference. Appointments will be for a set date at a set location, though health officials say there will be some flexibility in the time of the appointment.
People will have 24 hours to make an appointment once they receive a one-time use link. Notifications will be sent every Wednesday starting this week.
Those who receive email notifications will receive them from email@example.com, which the Health Department confirmed is a legitimate email address.
In addition to the state-run vaccination sites and the regional sites, those who are eligible can still make appointments to get vaccinated at a retail pharmacy, including CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Stop & Shop.
Appointments can be made at several independent pharmacies through the state’s vaccine website.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also announced Tuesday that Rhode Island has been awarded $16,374,670 to support local vaccination efforts, including ensuring greater equity and access to doses.
As of Monday afternoon, about a quarter of Rhode Island’s population has been fully vaccinated, according to data released by RIDOH.