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Pawtucket makes all adults in the city eligible for vaccine

March 22, 2021 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The city of Pawtucket on Monday opened coronavirus vaccination eligibility to all adults who live in the city.

Residents must be 18 or older to receive a Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine or 16 or older for a Pfizer shot, Mayor Donald Grebien said in a statement.

“There is a demand in the community for vaccines, and we are very excited to encourage all residents to receive the vaccine when they are able to get an appointment,” he said. “We are continuing to work with the state through the High Density Community initiatives in order to continuously get vaccines in the arms of Pawtucket residents.”

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Pawtucket has been one of the hardest hit communities in the state, with more than 10,000 residents, or more than 14% of the population, testing positive at some point, according to state Department of Health data.

The city is expecting additional vaccinations in the coming weeks and will continue encouraging residents to stay tuned to the city’s vaccination website for available dates and times. It may take some time to book an appointment, city leaders said.

The city of Providence also expanded vaccine eligibility to all adults age 18 and older who live in certain zip codes that have been the hardest hit.

These neighborhoods comprise the zip codes 02904, 02905, 02907, 02908, and 02909. Vaccinations will only be given at the city’s immunization sites, not at state-run sites or at retail pharmacies.

“Vaccinations are effective at reducing the risk of hospitalization and death from COVID-19, which is why it’s important to focus vaccination efforts in settings where the risks are most severe,” Mayor Jorge Elorza said in a statement.

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WEEKEND DATA

The Rhode Island Department of Health on Monday reported 1,000 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus and nine additional COVID-19-related deaths in the past three days.

There have now been more than 134,000 known cases in the state and 2,604 fatalities.

The department does not update on weekends.

The number of patients in the state’s hospitals with COVID-19 dropped to 118 as of Saturday, the lowest single-day total since early October. Sixteen were in intensive care.

More than 302,000 people in Rhode Island have received at least one vaccine dose and more than 169,000 people have been fully vaccinated.