“Stop the chaos…” AARP-RI leads demands for vaccine improvement. Officials scramble to respond.

UPDATED Feb. 18, 2021

Yesterday, AARP Rhode Island issued a strong statement, “AARP Demands a COVID Vaccination That Works for all Rhode Islanders”. The statement was part of a flurry of activity yesterday to try to answer what has become universal upset at Rhode Island’s listing as last for disseminating shots to people.

Activity included 3 ZOOM events with Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott explaining the RI methodology. One ZOOM was run by Rep. Ray Hull, head of the RI Coronavirus Task Force, with heavy-hitting questions amidst lengthy slide presentations presenting data that while RI has been so slow to administer vaccinations, it has done so strategically, resulting in reduced hospitalizations.

A surprise ZOOM presentation came from Governor Raimondo looking clearly disturbed at the public and official outcry, which included at least 3 mayors asking for her to resign and let Lt. Gov. McKee fully take over. Her presentation included a statement that RI’s method has been “intentional”, given our expertise on focusing on the hospitalizations and cutting them – and she maintained that RI’s vaccination plan is “going well”.

By the end of the day, RI had announced 3 ways to register for vaccinations, and the addition of 65+ starting with Monday registration as well as the Providence 2-day registration (and the opening of a Portsmouth site):

  • vaccine registrations will be open on Monday, statewide, for those 65 and over for vaccination opportunities starting Monday.
  • An online signup has gone live at:
  • Providence set up a 2-day clinic for Fri & Sat from 3 “hardest hit” zip codes at 02907, 02908, and 02909. Go to:
  • An automated phone number for RI sign-ups activated: 844-930-1779 – The call center will be open on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and weekends from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • There are also opportunities for city & town vaccination clinics. Check on your individual website.
  • Massachusetts announced it will immediately begin vaccinating those 65+.

Links in this chart, below, are not click-able – you will need to type in the sites into your computer’s browser.

The AARP-Rhode Island statement:

Kathleen Connell                                  Phil Zarlengo
State Director, AARP – RI                State President, AARP – RI



The Providence VA Medical Center has begun vaccinating people who are enrolled in the VA Health Care. VA Providence is actively contacting patients at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 to schedule their vaccination appointments. There is no need for Veterans to preregister, call for an appointment or come to a facility to sign up. If you are not yet enrolled in VA Healthcare you can do so by visiting online or by contacting the Eligibility Office at the Providence VA Medical Center Main Building, Main Entrance, Rooms D1089A and 1089E or call 401-273-7100 Ext. 12496 401-273-7100 Ext. 13250


A new vaccination site opened for Portsmouth residents aged 75 and older at Raytheon Missiles & Defense. It will be run by the town’s EMA. Incoming Gov. McKee participated in the opening ceremonies.

ABC6 photo
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  1. Sandra Paquette on February 17, 2021 at 9:00 pm

    I have been attempting to arrange for an in home vaccine for my housebound husband—-with absolutely no success. The RIDOH has no answers !! My town will provide an “in car” shot, but even this poses obstacles

    Surely an accommodation has been made for these extremely high risk patients??

    • RINewsToday on February 17, 2021 at 9:22 pm

      If he is over 75 or in a facility he would be accommodated but I have also heard visiting nurses are giving them – I believe they are strategizing this issue right now.

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