Vaccinations continue for oldest population

Vaccinations continue for oldest population

Smithfield is continuing its first phase of COVID-19 vaccinations, administering 150 vaccinations per week for the next four weeks for residents age 75 and older beginning Feb. 20.

Still, Town Manager Randy Rossi says there aren’t enough vaccinations to handle that population, which is approximately 2,000 residents. As calls continue to pour in from residents wishing to register for vaccines and be put on the waiting list, Rossi said it is important to remain patient and understand each person will eventually get a vaccine.

He said the town will continue to contact residents from oldest, 104 years, down to 75 years old based on the vaccination waitlist. Residents are added to the list based on phone calls to be added or registering through the town website.

Smithfield is contacting each resident to manually register them for the vaccine, a process Rossi said takes about 15 to 20 minutes apiece.

“We need everyone to be patient and we promise we will get to them,” Rossi said.

CVS and Walgreens Pharmacies are also taking reservations for eligible individuals to receive vaccination appointments. Call CVS at 1-800-746-7287 or visit the Walgreens website to schedule an appointment. If a person receives a vaccine from another source than the town of Smithfield, Rossi said it is important to let the town know so they can be removed from the waiting list.

Rossi said the supply of the vaccine remains very limited.

“Please bear with us as we work through this process together and know that it might be a few weeks before you are able to get an appointment depending on your age,” he said.

Rossi said registered residents will be contacted when an appointment is available, and no further action is necessary.

“We are working on this important mission in an effort to keep our residents safe,” he said.

Rossi said the town is committed to vaccinating the entire population following the Rhode Island Department of Health and federal guidelines. State officials were suggesting as of press time that they would be announcing new steps to expand vaccinations to those age 65 and older.

“We anticipate this process to take a while; however, the process of vaccinating our residents has begun and we will continue until we meet the vaccination needs of every resident in our community,” Rossi said.

He added that arriving at the assigned appointment time is crucial to avoid potentially long waits or traffic impacts.

To register, call the Smithfield Senior Center at 401-949-4590 or Rossi at 401-233-1010. Rossi asked that individuals who received a vaccine from alternative sites and remain on the Smithfield registry contact the town to be removed from its list.

Rapid walk-thru COVID-19 testing is available at the Smithfield VFW, 47 Farnum Pike, every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In Scituate, Emergency Management Agency Director John Robinson said the town is scheduling four vaccination clinics to administer COVID-19 vaccinations for the 80 shots allotted by the state each week, beginning Feb. 19.

“It’s not an awful lot,” Robinson said of the allotted vaccinations.

He expects 380 people will be vaccinated by the end of the first four clinics.

Robinson said the town has around 750 people in the 75-and-older range, and has so far vaccinated 60 people. He said the town is cross-checking using several contact lists to ensure everyone in that age range is counted and contacted.

He said his office is overloaded with calls, around 600 calls a week, from people hoping to get registered or asking about information on vaccinations.

Scituate will contact seniors by phone to register for vaccinations and schedule appointments.