Booster eligibility expanded in Rhode Island

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Governor Dan McKee

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- Governor McKee along with the RI Department of Health are now encouraging those between 16 and 17-years-old who have received their first two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to get their booster. Prior to this announcement, the booster doses were available to those 18 and older.

“I’m proud that Rhode Island led the nation in getting our population vaccinated – as of today, over 96% of adults have at least one shot. To fully protects ourselves and our loved ones against Delta, Omicron and other variants, it’s time to double down and get a boost,” Governor McKee said. “As eligibility continues to expand, we’re making accessibility a priority for Rhode Island’s booster campaign. If you are eligible, get that booster  and encourage friends and family to sign up today.”

Since August, Rhode Island has seen high levels of COVID transmission, with officials noticing a higher uptick in the last few weeks. There is further concern in place due to the expected new variants and socialization moved indoors due to weather, and with that hospitalizations are believed to increase over the next few weeks. Although Delta remains the variant of concern, Omicron has been found in several neighboring states and Rhode Islanders could see increased infection rates from this new variant.

“We are seeing very high levels of COVID-19 transmission right now in Rhode Island. Booster doses for everyone who is eligible is critical to strengthen protection against Omicron and other variants, and to keeping individuals and communities as safe as possible,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. “COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and accessible all throughout Rhode Island. I’m urging parents and families to get their 16- and 17-year-olds boosted as soon as possible.”

The booster doses are critical in limiting the spread and prevent serious illness.

Those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine should wait six months to get their booster. Those who received Johnson & Johnson vaccine are able to get the Pfizer booster after two months. At this stage 16 and 17-year-olds can only receive the Pfizer booster.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Providence, Regional News, Rhode Island