Hard-hit Rhode Island community first in state to begin vaccinating public


CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. (WPRI) — Starting Wednesday, a limited number of residents in the Rhode Island community of Central Falls were able to receive the coronavirus vaccine, according to Mayor James Diossa.

Diossa said he’s been working closely with the state’s Department of Health to determine which populations are most at-risk and should receive the vaccine first.

He said the first round of vaccinations will be administered to residents of the Central Falls Housing Authority. Those residents were recently provided with information on how to sign up to receive the vaccine.

“This week, we will be able to take a step in the right direction to beat COVID-19 in Central Falls, starting with some of our residents at high-risk for contracting and suffering from the disease,” Diossa said.

Joseph Wendelken, a spokesperson for the R.I. Department of Health, said 1,500 vaccines have been allocated to Central Falls and more will be made available as needed.

Later this week, Wendelken said vaccines will be made available to more Central Falls residents. He said they plan to begin offering vaccines at a pharmacy in the city, though he did not specify which one.

He also said the Blackstone Valley Community Health Center would begin “vaccinating a portion of their staff, as well as patients and some community members,” later in the week as well.

The city is one of the communities in Rhode Island that’s been hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

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