Gov. McKee confronted by protesters at COVID-19 vaccine clinic

Blackstone Valley

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee says the state is getting ready to get vaccines out to kids under twelve, which the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) could give final approval to next week.

And while Rhode Island continues to be a leader in vaccination rates, the governor is keeping on the pressure, especially on communities showing some of the lowest vaccination rates.

“If we want students in class, every day, the way to do that is to vaccinate our students,” Woonsocket Superintendent Patrick McGee said.

McKee attended a clinic on Saturday, encouraging those who are eligible to get vaccinated, while facing some protesters. Demonstrators were protesting the state’s vaccine mandate for health care workers, and the mask requirement in K-12 schools.

McKee said that it’s those vaccination rates and mandates that have helped bring back the Rhode Island economy.

“Thank those who are vaccinated for reopening our economy, reopening schools and keeping us out of the hospital,” he said.

With Woonsocket continuing to be among the lowest in vaccination rates, student Julia Joseph is asking her community to do their part.

“We must stand together in realize that getting vaccinated is our civic duty. It’s on us. It’s on us to stand by each other and have enough trust in science to put our health above misconception and misinformation,” Joseph said.

The governor said that once the supply of vaccines for elementary age kids is ready they will be holding both statewide and local outreach to distribute the vaccine.

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