PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island is expecting a more than 20% increase in the number of coronavirus vaccine doses shipped to the state beginning next week, a top state health official said.
The state has been getting about 14,000 doses per week, but will get about 3,000 additional first doses of the Moderna vaccine per week, state Department of Health Medical Director Dr. James McDonald told WPRI-TV.
“That’s a plus, and hopefully there will be more coming soon,” he said.
Several state officials have said that the limited supply is thwarting the state’s vaccination efforts. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said as of Tuesday Rhode Island ranked 27th in the nation for administering the vaccines.
Health officials said they are making some changes to try to speed up the process, and the extra doses could help.
The state has now administered almost 63,000 vaccine first doses, and almost 20,000 second doses, according to state numbers released Wednesday.
About 60% of the employees and one-quarter of inmates at the Rhode Island state prison have received their first dose of a coronavius vaccine, a spokesperson for the state Department of Corrections says.
J.R. Ventura told The Providence Journal on Wednesday that 775 Adult Correctional Institutions staff members had been vaccinated as of Monday, with more than 100 fully vaccinated. Almost 250 staffers refused the vaccine, he said.
Of about 2,000 inmates, more than 475 have been vaccinated, with nearly 100 fully vaccinated, he said. He did not have the number of refusals.
Hundreds of inmates and staff at the prison were diagnosed with COVID-19 late last year, and two inmates and one correctional officer died.
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