Rhode Island could get 29,000 coronavirus vaccine doses by the end of the year

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Gov. Gina Raimondo said Thursday in her weekly press conference that Rhode Island could receive around 29,000 coronavirus vaccine doses by the end of 2020.

She said the state is expecting around 10,000 doses of Pfitzer’s vaccine, and around 19,000 doses of Moderna’s.

“We’re a state of a million people. 29,000 shots doesn’t go a long way,” Raimondo said. “So that’s why we are prioritizing where those initial doses will be going. The initial doses will be going to healthcare workers, first responders, high-risk individuals.”

Raimondo said the state has been working for weeks on distribution plans, making sure hospitals, doctors officers, and pharmacies have the staffing and equipment they need.

“We are very, very enthusiastic about being first, getting residents and staff vaccinated, we think that that’s an enormous step forward for reestablishing the consumer confidence that we’ve always had with families in the community,” said Scott Schuster, CEO of Wingate Healthcare.

The company runs two senior living facilities in Providence, Wingate Residences on Blackstone Boulevard and Wingate Residences on the East Side.

Wingate has partnered with CVS to distribute vaccines on-site.

“People will come down from their apartments, they’ll be interviewed, they’ll sign papers typical for any vaccine, they’ll probably get some basic health checks,” Schuster explained, “then they’ll move to the next section, next area of a room, and then they’ll get the vaccine.”

He said the distribution process could start as soon as December 15.

“It’s probably going to take a month or so to come in, administer all the vaccines, and then come back for a second round,” Schuster said.

The vaccines require two shots, Raimondo explained to Rhode Islanders during her press conference. The second one, three to four weeks after the first.

At Wingate, workers will keep an eye on residents after a vaccine is administered for any side effects.

“Our families, our residents, our staff are cautiously optimistic. We think that this is a giant step forward.”

Raimondo said, if all goes well with vaccines, she hopes that Rhode Islanders will be able to be out and about and back on track by late spring or early summer of 2021.

© WLNE-TV 2020

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