AP NEWS
ADVERTISEMENT

Rhode Island reaches important vaccination milestone

July 2, 2021 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island has become the fifth state to fully vaccinate 70% of its eligible adult population against the coronavirus, a state health official said.

“It’s the culmination of tremendous amount of work of the state, our communities, our federal partners,” Tom McCarthy, executive director of the Rhode Island COVID-19 Response Team, told WPRI-TV on Thursday. “It’s something we should all be proud of and celebrate.”

Rhode Island joined Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine.

Even though the state has hit an important milestone, there is still work to do, McCarthy said, especially with the continued spread of the highly contagious delta variant.

The goal is to vaccinate 70% of Rhode Island’s total population. Currently, less than 60% of the total population has been fully vaccinated.

“For herd immunity, what that does is reduces the prevalence in the community, so reduces some risk,” McCarthy said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Rhode Island will not hit that milestone until October, he said.

More than 633,000 people in the state have been fully vaccinated according to state Department of Health data.

Since vaccinations started in December, 4,900 unvaccinated people have been hospitalized compared to just 96 vaccinated people, the department said.