More than 7,000 vaccine appointments released, booked up within an hour

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Thousands of people scored appointments to get their shot of the vaccine Tuesday morning.

The Rhode Island Department of health opened up a new batch of appointments, which included a new age group of people 50 to 59 years-old. Within an hour, all 7,300 slots were filled.

“The appointments did go pretty quick, which is a good sign,” Joseph Wendelken with the Department of Health said. “I think the demand for vaccine is still really high in Rhode Island. We’re going to keep pushing to get as many doses into arms as quickly as possible.”

Wendelken says right now, demand is higher than supply. There are about 87,500 Rhode Islanders in that 50 to 59 age group that have no yet been vaccinated. He says more than 60,000 people in that group have been as part of the other eligibility criteria.

“There are a lot of people in each age band that have already been vaccinated but generally speaking we think we’ll be able to stay on schedule,” Wendelken said.

The Department of Health says the state continues to be on track to open eligibility to the general public for people 16 and older on April 19th. They also have plans to include people 40 and older next week beginning on April 12th.

“We’re seeing incremental increases little by little and that’s why were able to accelerate our timeline, but were still waiting on some information from the federal government,” Wendelken said.

That update from the Federal Government will come Tuesday afternoon.

The next batch of appointments for state-run clinics will be released Friday at 5:00 p.m.

Categories: News, Providence, Rhode Island