Rhode Island reaches 1 million doses of vaccine administered
PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) – Rhode Island marked a milestone in its vaccine rollout on Tuesday morning.
Governor Dan McKee announced that a million doses were administered in the state during an event at the Rhode Island hospital, where the first dose was administered.
“I don’t think anyone would have ever thought on December 14 that we would have a million shots in our arms on May 11,” McKee said.
The State House will be lit Tuesday night, according to McKee, to “mark this moment and remind us all to stay the course and get vaccinated.”
McKee referred to President Joe Biden’s goal of getting 70% of the United States to have at least one dose by July 4.
“Mr. President, we have accepted your challenge and I hope we have made you proud here in the Ocean State,” said McKee. “We will reach 70% in just a few days and it is a sign of very good things to come. ”
At Rhode Island’s COVID-19 vaccine subcommittee meeting on Tuesday morning, officials announced that 51% of currently eligible residents in the state are fully vaccinated and 67% are at least partially vaccinated.
The announcement comes as the FDA has expanded the authorization for emergency use of Pfizer’s two-dose vaccine in adolescents 12 to 15 years of age.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine advisory committee will meet on Wednesday to review clinical trial data and make recommendations on the use of the vaccine in adolescents.
However, Rhode Island is not waiting for the CDC consultative meeting to start offering the Pfizer vaccine to children ages 12 to 15. The subcommittee expects pharmacy partners today to begin updating systems for eligible children to receive the Pfizer vaccine.
“Right now you are the group that can start to think about helping a loved one get vaccinated, we are so excited to be able to expand at this younger age,” said the director of health, the Dr. Nicole Alexander Scott, to parents who have children between this age of 12 and 15.
The state is currently updating its systems so that appointments may be available by the end of the day.
Alexander-Scott says the state will also work to allow children to be vaccinated in schools with parental consent.
“We’re not going to stop at a million, we’re not going to stop until every person who wants an injection gets one,” McKee said.
Pfizer is also hoping to get full approval for its COVID-19 vaccine in adults 16 and older. It is the first COVID-19 vaccine in the United States to be evaluated for full FDA approval.
Moderna also plans to seek full approval for its two-dose vaccine this month, the company said during its quarterly earnings call last week.