COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

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COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs for the Public

Getting vaccinated in Rhode Island

8/27/2021

Find a vaccine clinic near you at C19VaccineRI.org. You do not need an appointment at most vaccination sites.

Some primary care providers (PCPs) in Rhode Island are also vaccinating patients for COVID-19. Contact your PCP to find out if they are vaccinating patients and if you are eligible.

If you need help, you can call 844-930-1779, or 2-1-1. 

9/21/2021                                                                                  

No. Appointments are no longer needed to get vaccinated at State-run sites and many regional sites and pharmacies. However, it’s a good idea to make an appointment if you can.

To find a vaccine site near you, view RIDOH’s Vaccine Site Locator.

7/23/2021

Many vaccination sites across the state are accessible by public transportation. To view transportation routes and any possible walking distances, visit www.ripta.com and enter your travel information into RIPTA’s trip planner on the homepage. The website also has detailed maps and timetables for every RIPTA route. If you need help or cannot visit the website, call RIPTA’s Customer Service team at 401-781-9400.

RIPTA offers free transportation for anyone traveling to or from a COVID-19 vaccination appointment. For more information or to take advantage of this program, please contact RIPTA Customer Service by e-mailing [email protected] or by calling 781-9400.

Anyone enrolled in Medicaid or older than 60 can use the Non-Emergency Medical Transport Service provided by MTM. Transportation can be booked online at https://www.mtm-inc.net/mtm-link/ or by calling MTM at 855-330-9131 (TTY: 711) at least two business days before the appointment. If you are not enrolled in Medicaid, there may be a small cost to schedule a ride. For more information on the Non-Emergency Medical Transport Service, please see this FAQ sheet.

9/1/2021

Please show up at your assigned time. Appointments have been spaced out to avoid crowding.

You don't need an ID or insurance to be vaccinated, but if you have one, we ask that you bring it.

Please wear loose-fitting clothing that allows easy access to your upper arm. Follow social distancing and masking guidelines at your appointment.

You will receive a vaccination card that indicates which vaccine you received and the date and location of your vaccination. If you received a vaccine that requires a second dose (e.g., Moderna or Pfizer), the card will also note the earliest date you can receive your second dose. We strongly encourage you to sign up for your second dose while onsite and receiving your first dose. After receiving the vaccine, you will be asked to remain on site for a 15- to 30-minute observation period. You can make your second appointment during this observation period.

6/9/2021

Vaccines often cause our immune systems to respond in a way that shows the vaccine is working. This is healthy, normal, and expected. You may experience a sore arm, headache, fever, or body aches, but they should go away within a few days. Some people have no side effects from getting vaccinated.

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 following vaccination, stay home, call a healthcare provider, and get tested.

If you have any of the following severe symptoms after vaccination or in general, seek medical care right away:

  • Chest pain; shortness of breath; feelings of having a fast-beating, fluttering, or pounding heart
  • Severe or persistent headaches or blurred vision; shortness of breath; chest pain; leg swelling; persistent abdominal pain; easy bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the injection site

8/4/2021

If you got a vaccine that requires a second dose (e.g., Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech), you can schedule your second dose before leaving the vaccination clinic. You can schedule your second appointment during your observation period. 

If you did not schedule your second dose appointment while getting your first dose, you can find a vaccine clinic and appointment at C19VaccineRI.org.

Fully vaccinated means you’ve gotten all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO) and more than 14 days have passed since the final dose. If you are not yet fully vaccinated, RIDOH recommends that you continue to wear a mask outdoors in crowded settings and indoors near unvaccinated people you don’t live with.

8/4/2021

After vaccination, people should continue to follow guidance around prevention, testing, quarantine, and isolation. People are likely to experience symptoms after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Here is a list of symptoms and what to do if you experience them:  

  1. Local symptoms (e.g., redness or swelling where you receive the injection, muscle pain or discomfort in arm) – This is unlikely to be related to COVID-19. It is ok to go to work or school. No additional testing is needed.  
  1. Generalized symptoms (e.g., fever, headache, whole body muscle aches or joint pain) – These symptoms could be related to either COVID-19 or the COVID-19 vaccine. Please stay home from work or school, call a healthcare provider, and get tested for COVID-19.  
  1. Respiratory symptoms (e.g., runny nose, congestion, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell) – These may be related to COVID-19. Please stay home from work or school, call a healthcare provider, and get tested for COVID-19.  
  1. Gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., belly pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) – These may be related to COVID-19. Please stay home from work or school, call a healthcare provider, and get tested for COVID-19.

If you have questions about any other symptoms you are experiencing after a COVID-19 vaccine, please contact your healthcare provider.

6/9/2021

COVID-19 vaccines will be provided at no cost. People without health insurance can get the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost.

No matter where you are vaccinated, COVID-19 vaccine providers cannot charge people if COVID-19 vaccination is the only service provided.

No one can be denied vaccination based on healthcare coverage or network. Providers also cannot require additional medical services to get vaccinated.

9/1/2021

Please visit Back2SchoolRI.com and read the Back 2 School Frequently Asked Questions for more information about vaccination, masking, and testing in schools.

 

11/1/2021

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) requires that all employees, interns, and volunteers in RIDOH-licensed healthcare facilities and all RIDOH-licensed healthcare providers are vaccinated for COVID-19. 

The regulation applies to all individuals who work in RIDOH-licensed health care facilities and all licensed healthcare providers, whether they work in a licensed facility or not.

For more information, please visit covid.ri.gov/healthcare-professionals and read the Vaccination Requirement FAQs.

10/28/2021

 
RIDOH has partnered with Alert Ambulance and MedTech Ambulance to administer COVID-19 vaccines at the residences of people who are homebound.

This at-home vaccination program is a unique opportunity made possible by the resources that are currently available and is only for COVID-19 vaccination and will only be offered for a limited time. If you or someone you know needs at-home vaccination, please consider taking advantage of this opportunity now. 

RIDOH encourages those who can safely attend vaccination sites outside the home to do so. If you are unable to leave your home, please contact the appropriate partner to schedule an appointment (depending on where you live) by visiting c19vaccineRI.org.

7/21/2021

If you missed your second-dose appointment or did not schedule it while you were at the place where you got your first dose, you may sign up for an appointment for your second dose by visiting C19vaccineRI.org. Make sure to check off that you are getting a second dose of vaccine, and make sure to get the same vaccine you got for your first dose (i.e., Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). If you need help, please contact [email protected] or call 844-930-1779 and ask to schedule or reschedule your second dose appointment. You do not need to get your second dose of vaccine where you got your first dose.

The CDC states that you should get the second dose as close to the recommended interval (21 days after the first dose for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, 28 days for Moderna vaccines) as possible. However, if you can’t get your second dose during this time frame, you can get it up to 4 days before or at any time after the recommended date and be considered fully vaccinated.

4/28/2021

Yes. A person age 16 or 17 in Rhode Island can sign a vaccination consent form on their own and they do not need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian to receive a vaccine.

According to state statute, RIGL 23-4.6-1, “(a) Any person of the age of sixteen (16) or over or married may consent to routine, emergency, medical or surgical care. A minor parent may consent to treatment of his or her child.”

Vaccines for Children Age 5 to 11

Please be certain that the appointment you make is for a slot for a child 5 to 11. Children 5 to 11 cannot receive the vaccine that older children and adults receive.

  • Clinics at schools – School districts are partnering with municipalities to offer more than 130 vaccination clinics for first and second doses for children 5 to 11 years old. These clinics will be held during the evening starting the week of November 7th. These clinics are open to all children 5 to 11 years old (not just the children who attend the host schools). Unless otherwise noted, vaccine will not be available for older children and adults at school clinics. A list of clinics is available at https://covid.ri.gov/5to11vaccine.
  • The offices of some primary care providers – Many pediatrician and family medicine practices are enrolled as providers of COVID-19 vaccine. Contact your child’s healthcare provider to learn if they are vaccinating younger children.
  • The State-run site at Sockanosset Cross Road – Appointments for children age 5 to 11 at the Sockanosset Cross Road site in Cranston are available on VaccinateRI.org. People can also call 844-930-1779 or 211 if they need assistance scheduling an appointment. 
  • Pharmacies – Vaccines for children age 5 to 11 are available at many CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and Stop & Shop sites. Visit the websites of these pharmacies for more information. Appointments at independent pharmacies are listed at VaccinateRI.org.
  • Health centers – Many health centers are doing direct outreach to their patients about vaccine availability.
  • Community clinics – Additional community clinics for children 5 to 11 will be scheduled in the coming weeks.

11/12/2021

As of November 1, no participants in the large vaccine trial for children age 5 to 11 have developed myocarditis or pericarditis. Cases have been reported among children age 12 to 17 who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. However, these cases are rare. In one study, the risk of myocarditis after the second dose of Pfizer in the week following vaccination was around 54 cases per million doses administered to males age 12 to 17.  

Not getting vaccinated against COVID-19 puts children at risk for getting very sick with COVID-19, having both short and long-term health complications from COVID-19 (including multisystem inflammatory syndrome or MIS-C), and spreading COVID-19 to others.  

The COVID-19 vaccines are being monitored for safety with the most intense safety monitoring program in US history.  When considering the risks and benefits of COVID-19 vaccination, parents should consult with their pediatricians or healthcare providers. 

 

 

11/12/2021 

The Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for children ages 5-11 has the same active ingredients as the vaccine given to adults and adolescents. However, the vaccine for children comes in a different vial with a different color cap. The Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine that is given to adults and adolescents cannot be used for children ages 5 through 11 years. Children ages 5 through 11 will receive an age-appropriate dose that is one-third of what adolescents and adults receive. COVID-19 vaccine dosage does not vary by patient weight but by age on the day of vaccination. Children are still required to get two doses three weeks apart to be considered fully vaccinated. 

 

11/3/2021

No, please vaccinate your child as soon as possible with the dose approved for the age they are right now. The sooner your child is protected the better it is for your child and their close contacts.

11/12/2021 

COVID-19 vaccine dosages are based on age, not size or weight. The CDC recommends that children age 5 to 11 get vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children age 5 to 11 and that people age 12 or older get vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people age 12 or older. If a child turns from age 11 to age 12 in between their first and second dose, the second dose should be the age-appropriate dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people age 12 or older. However, if the child receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for children ages 5 through 11 years for their second dose, they do not need to get another dose of the vaccine for people age 12 or older. 

 

11/3/2021

You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same visit. Experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, and possible post-vaccination effects after getting vaccinated are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines. The CDC recommends that if multiple vaccines are administered during a single visit, the injections should be given at least one inch apart or may be given in different arms or other parts of the body.

11/3/2021

Yes. Children age 5-11 will need to have consent from a parent or legal guardian for a vaccination appointment.  A parent/guardian will need to give consent first on www.vaccinateRI.org or before vaccination on site. Children age 5-11 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or other individual age 16 or older when getting a COVID-19 vaccination at any State-sponsored, mass vaccination clinic.

11/3/2021

No identification is necessary for you or your child to get vaccinated. The vaccination doesn’t cost anything. If you have a health insurance card, we ask that you bring it to the site. If you do not have a health insurance card, you or your child can still get vaccinated. Adding health insurance information to you or your child’s vaccine record is optional.

11/3/2021

Vaccination is key to protecting children from COVID-19. In the US, COVID-19 cases in children age 5-11 make up 39% of cases in individuals younger than 18 years of age. According to the CDC, approximately 8,300 COVID-19 cases in children age 5-11 resulted in hospitalization, and 94 of those children have died[i]. The death toll in the past year puts COVID-19 in the top 10 causes of death for this age group. Since the start of school, from August 29, 2021, to October 23, 2021, 92% of students in Rhode Island’s Pre K-12 schools who tested positive for COVID-19 were not vaccinated, and 67% of them were age 5-11. Hospitalization rates for unvaccinated adolescents have been 10 times higher in Rhode Island than among fully vaccinated adolescents.

Millions of adolescents age 12-17 have been safely vaccinated, and we know vaccines work. Fully vaccinated individuals are 10 times less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 and have a high degree of protection, including against the Delta variant.

[i] FDA Authorizes Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use in Children 5 through 11 Years of Age | FDA

11/3/2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the Pfizer BioNTech-BioNTech COVID-19 pediatric vaccine for use in children age 5-11. Data from a large clinical trial with approximately 4,700 children age 5-11 found that the vaccine was 90.7% effective against COVID-19, including the Delta variant. For the best protection, children need to be fully vaccinated—meaning they have gotten two doses and at least two weeks have passed since they’ve gotten the second dose of the vaccine.

11/12/2021 

Children can get vaccinated as soon as they have completed their isolation period and are no longer experiencing symptoms. Anyone who has a current COVID-19 infection should wait until they have completed their isolation period and have recovered from their illness before getting vaccinated.   

People who have been exposed to COVID-19 should wait until they have completed their quarantine period before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.   

11/12/2021 

Please consult with your healthcare provider or specialist team about whether a child who has had multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) should get vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.  

In some cases, the benefits of getting vaccinated will outweigh the risks. For example, if a child has recovered from MIS-C, it has been 90 days since their MIS-C diagnosis, the onset of MIS-C occurred before any COVID-19 vaccine doses, and if they live in an area with substantial or high community transmission, the benefits of getting vaccinated may outweigh the risks of remaining unprotected against COVID-19.  

11/3/2021

Children who get vaccinated at school or at community clinics will be asked to schedule their second dose during the 15-minute observation period after their first dose is administered. Children will be able to get both first and second doses at these clinics. The vaccination event organizers will be able to tell the child and the parent/guardian exactly when and where the second dose event will be. Children who get vaccinated at a pharmacy or at a healthcare provider’s office or health center should schedule their second dose immediately after they receive their first dose.

Find updated information at covid.ri.gov/5to11vaccinefaqs

1/4/2022

Consistent with the CDC’s prior recommendation for adults, CDC is recommending that moderately or severely immunocompromised children age 5 to 11 receive an additional primary dose of vaccine 28 days after their second dose. At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for children age 5 to 11.

 

11/12/2021 

No. There is no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, can cause female or male fertility problems. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Record

10/26/2021

When you get vaccinated, you’ll get a vaccination card that tells you which COVID-19 vaccine you got and the date and location of your vaccination. Keep this card which is the best record of your vaccination.

Rhode Islanders can also get a copy of their COVID-19 vaccine record through portal.ri.gov/VaccineRecord. From this website, you can search for and print proof of your COVID-19 vaccination. If you need another dose of vaccine to finish your primary series, this record will tell you when you are eligible to get that dose. Please note that only people who have received their COVID-19 vaccination in Rhode Island will be able to look up their vaccination record online.  

If you are having trouble finding your vaccination record or are not able to go online, you can call 401-222-8022 or 844-930-1779 for help. You can also call your primary care physician to check your vaccine record.

We do not currently have the ability to email or mail a vaccine record. Please keep your vaccination card. If you have a smartphone, it is a good idea to take a picture of your vaccination card with your phone so that you always have a copy with you. 

11/22/2021

Please use the Immunization Record Correction form to add information or request a correction to a COVID-19 immunization record in the Rhode Island Child and Adult Immunization Registry (RICAIR). You can request a change for your record or for your child or person for whom you are legal guardian.

People who are living in Rhode Island but received their COVID vaccination(s) outside of Rhode Island can use this form to add their information to the RICAIR system. This includes immunizations received in other countries if the vaccine is on the World Health Organization approved list.

10/26/2021

If your vaccination record is missing or needs to be corrected, please fill out the record correction form at covid.ri.gov/recordcorrection.

Requests to change your name, address, phone number, email, and/or date of birth within your vaccination record require that you provide proof of your identity in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • A copy of ONE (1) government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license, passport, military identification, certificate of naturalization, or alien registration card; or
  • A copy of TWO (2) documents that provide both your name and current address, including a utility bill, bank statement, insurance, car registration, pay stub, etc. (photocopies or cell phone photos of the documents are acceptable)

Once your form is completed, please send it to the RI Child and Adult Immunization Registry (RICAIR) team for a record correction by email at [email protected] or by mail to RICAIR/KIDSNET Updates, 3 Capitol Hill, Room 302, Providence, RI 02908.

Booster Doses

11/30/2021

No. Sometimes people who have weakened immune systems do not build enough protection when they first get vaccinated. When this happens, an additional primary dose or third dose can help these people get the same protection as people with healthy immune systems. CDC recommends people with moderately to severely weakened immune systems get a third dose of either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after they got their second COVID-19 dose.

A booster dose is a dose of vaccine given to someone who has built up protection after vaccination, but that protection is decreasing over time. There are lots of vaccines that require booster doses.

9/24/2021

A booster dose is a dose of a vaccine that is given to someone who is already vaccinated and received protection from that vaccination, but that protection decreased over time.


1/7/2022

Everyone age 12 or older who has already received a primary series of COVID-19 vaccine is eligible to get a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

At this time, only the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for adolescents aged 12-17.

  • Moderna recipients age 18 and older should get a booster at least five months after second shot.
  • Pfizer recipients age 12 and older should get a booster at least five months after second shot.
  • Johnson & Johnson recipients age 18 and older should get a Pfizer or Moderna booster at least two months after initial shot.
  • Children younger than age 12: a booster is not recommended at this time.

 

11/30/2021

Yes, you may choose which COVID-19 vaccine you get as a booster dose.

In general, people should get the same vaccine type as their original vaccine. Getting a booster dose of any COVID-19 vaccine currently authorized or approved in the US will increase your protection against COVID-19 and its variants, like Delta. In some situations, mixing vaccines may result in a better immune response such as getting a Moderna booster dose if you got a first dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Please speak with your primary care physician or another healthcare provider and review the resources below if you have questions about which booster dose to get.

All three of the COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States are highly effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19 and its variants.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (CDC)

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine (FDA)

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (CDC)

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine (FDA)

Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine (CDC)

Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 Vaccine (FDA)

 

 

 

1/7/2022

If you got Pfizer or Moderna for your primary series,* you can get a COVID-19 booster dose at least five  five months after completing your primary series.

If you got Johnson & Johnson for your primary series, you can get a COVID-19 booster dose at least two months after your primary COVID-19 vaccination.

You can search for appointments by vaccine type at vaccinateRI.org or at one of the options listed at C19VaccineRI.org. If you need help making an appointment, please call 2-1-1.

*People age 5 or older who have moderately to severely compromised immune systems and who have received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine primary series (Moderna or Pfizer), should receive an additional primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine 28 days after their second dose. At this time, only the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for children age 5 to 11.

 

11/29/2021

The vaccines work. The COVID-19 vaccines continue to be highly effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, including against the Delta variant. CDC data demonstrate that in August 2021, the risk of dying from COVID-19 in the US was more than 11 times greater for unvaccinated people than for fully vaccinated people. However, scientists are starting to see reduced protection against mild and moderate disease, especially among certain populations. This decreasing protection is the reason for the new guidance on booster doses. 

Please note: On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified a new variant, B.1.1.529, as a Variant of Concern and has named it Omicron. No cases of this variant have been identified in the U.S. to date. CDC is following the details of this new variant, first reported to the WHO by South Africa. Among other prevention measures, CDC recommends that everyone 5 years and older protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting fully vaccinated. CDC encourages a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for those who are eligible. Read the entire CDC statement here.

 

10/7/2021

Yes. According to CDC, you can get a flu vaccine at the same time you get a COVID-19 vaccine, including a COVID-19 booster dose.

11/30/2021

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at protecting against serious illness and death from COVID-19. These vaccines are some of the most important tools we have to protect ourselves against COVID-19 and its variants.  

Scientists and researchers learned that protection from COVID-19 vaccines can decrease over time—especially in people age 65 or older. Getting a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine helps increase your protection against COVID-19 and its variants. This is normal; there are lots of vaccines that require booster doses.

Building protection against COVID-19 is still important. As COVID-19 spreads, the virus has more chances to change and to create new variants, like Delta and Omicron. COVID-19 vaccines and boosters can prevent new variants.

11/30/2021

You can search for appointments by vaccine type at VaccinateRI.org or at one of the options listed at C19VaccineRI.org. If you need help making an appointment, please call 2-1-1.  

If you are unable to leave your home, you’re able to request services for in-home booster doses. Please visit this link for more information: https://covid.ri.gov/vaccination#athome.  

 

11/24/2021

Yes. The CDC has issued Emergency Use Instructions (EUI) to allow the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to be given as an additional primary dose or booster dose to people who completed a vaccine primary series with certain COVID-19 vaccines that are not authorized or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This ensures that eligible people who were vaccinated outside of the U.S. with these vaccines, or who received certain non-FDA authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines through participation in clinical trials, can get an additional primary dose or booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

For more information: boosters [t.emailupdates.cdc.gov] and additional primary doses [t.emailupdates.cdc.gov]

 

10/29/2021

No. At this time, people are still considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna vaccine) or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson vaccine).

Additional Doses

1/6/2022

  • An additional dose is another dose of vaccine for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and probably did not build enough (or any) protection against COVID-19 when they got vaccinated. Getting an additional dose can help them build more protection against COVID-19. CDC recommends people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised consider getting an additional (third) dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least 28 days after they complete the initial two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series. People who got the Johnson and Johnson vaccine should discuss with their medical provider.  
  • A booster dose is another dose of vaccine for people with healthy immune systems who built enough protection after getting the Pfizer vaccine but probably have reduced protection now that time has gone by (called waning immunity). People who are eligible should get their booster dose at least five months after their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or at least two months after their dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine. For more information, please visit covid.ri.gov/boosterdoses and CDC’s website.  

 

1/4/2022

People age 5 or older who have moderately to severely compromised immune systems and who have received an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine primary series (Moderna or Pfizer), should receive an additional primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine 28 days after their second dose. At this time, only the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is authorized and recommended for children age 5 to 11.

CDC recommends that moderately to severely immunocompromised people get an additional dose of vaccine. This includes people who have  

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a  stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress the immune system

People should talk with a healthcare provider about their medical condition and whether to get a third dose of vaccine.

 

1/7/2022

Eligible Rhode Islanders are now able to get third doses of mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna). Please wait at least 28 days after your second dose to get your third dose of COVID-19 vaccine. 

For people who have moderately to severely compromised immune systems and who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, there is no recommendation for a third dose of any vaccine. However, we recommend you discuss this with your medical provider.

Per CDC:   https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/downloads/summary-interim-clinical-considerations.pdf

8/13/2021

No. Rhode Island is asking people to self-attest that they have moderate to severe immunosuppression.  

8/27/2021

Please make an appointment the same way you made an appointment for your first and second doses. RIDOH recommends making an appointment in advance, but not all vaccination clinics require appointments. Please go to C19VaccineRI.org to find a vaccine clinic near you or call 401-222-8022.

 

10/28/2021

The FDA’s recent emergency use authorization and CDC’s recommendation only apply to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer). If you are immunocompromised and received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, please discuss with your medical provider.

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety

3/24/2021

No. Vaccines do not cause COVID-19 disease. However, vaccines can cause your immune system to respond. This is a sign that the vaccine—and your body’s immune system—is working.  

We expect people to have symptoms after vaccination with any of the currently available vaccines. People may feel some soreness in their upper arms, some aches, fever, and fatigue. These symptoms may be more noticeable than those that occur with a flu vaccine. This is completely normal and they will clear up in a few days. Some people may experience no symptoms.  

Safety is a top priority. COVID-19 vaccines have been tested in large clinical trials with people of different ages, races, ethnicities, and people with different health conditions to make sure they are safe. No steps involving safety have been skipped—COVID-19 vaccines are being held to the same standards as other vaccines to make sure they are safe. To ensure the safety of all vaccines in the United States, there is a rigorous vaccine development and approval process. Once a vaccine is available for use, there are additional systems in place to continue to ensure safety.

The COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized were tested in large clinical trials with people of different ages, races, and ethnicities, as well as people with different underlying health conditions. Nearly half (42%) of Moderna’s study participants belong to high-risk groups. This means that they are older than 65 or have chronic conditions like diabetes, severe obesity, and cardiac disease. More than one third (37%) of study participants belong to communities of color. Ten percent of people who enrolled in both the Pfizer and Moderna clinical trials are Black.  

Demographic and age information from Pfizer clinical trials can be found here, demographic and age information from Moderna clinical trials can be found here, and demographic and age information from the Janssen clinical trials can be found here

12/21/2021

No. If you got one dose of Johnson & Johnson for your primary series, you do not need to get re-vaccinated. You are still considered having “completed your primary series.” However, we strongly recommend getting a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine, like Pfizer or Moderna.  

12/21/2021

The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is still generally considered safe and effective. The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine will still be available. However, CDC prefers that people get an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) over a Johnson & Johnson vaccine because of the latest evidence on vaccine effectiveness, vaccine safety and rare adverse events, and the current US vaccine supply. Given the current state of the pandemic, getting any vaccine is better than being unvaccinated. 

In April 2021, CDC recommended a “pause” or a temporary stop in giving people Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. This was because the country’s vaccine safety and monitoring systems identified six cases of a rare but serious blood clot in people after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The blood clot is called “thrombosis with thrombocytopenia.” Thrombosis occurs when a blood clot blocks blood flow in your vessels. Thrombocytopenia is a condition in which someone has low platelets. Platelets are cells that help the blood clot. Platelets help us stop bleeding. TTS is when someone experiences blood clots and also has low platelets. 

You may also hear or see “cerebral venous sinus thrombosis” or CVST. This describes a blood clot that happens in the brain and is a medical emergency. 

After the pause, FDA and CDC determined that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweighed its known and potential risks, and the chance of this rare blood clot occurring was very low, yet serious. Use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine resumed with a new warning label regarding blood clots. 

CDC has been monitoring for events like this following vaccination with Johnson & Johnson since April 2021. In December 2021, CDC reviewed the data that had been collected between April and December. There have been additional cases and deaths due to thrombosis with thrombocytopenia since April 2021. When comparing Johnson & Johnson to mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna), the Johnson & Johnson vaccine prevents fewer COVID-19 hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths. There are also more severe health impacts following thrombosis with thrombocytopenia after Johnson & Johnson vaccination than there are following myocarditis after mRNA vaccination.  

When both vaccine types are available, the CDC prefers that people get vaccinated against COVID-19 with mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna).  

When only Johnson & Johnson is available, the benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19 with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine outweigh the risks of remaining unvaccinated.  

12/21/2021

You can still get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine if, after learning about the risks associated with this vaccine, you prefer it to the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna). The CDC recommends that you get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine if you cannot get an mRNA vaccine because of a contraindication (e.g., an allergy to an ingredient).  

12/21/2021

We are still learning about COVID-19 and how vaccines work against this virus and its variants. The recommendations will change as we learn more. These vaccines are being monitored by the most intense safety system in US history. 

9/20/2021

All syringes and needles used for COVID-19 vaccination are individually packaged, clean (sterile), and used one time only.  Once a needle has been used, it is properly discarded in a special container called a sharps disposal container. These containers are made of strong material so that sharp objects cannot poke through or leak and are labeled and color-coded. This process is repeated for every vaccination provided.

All healthcare providers who give out the COVID-19 vaccine in Rhode Island are trained based on CDC guidelines, which means they use techniques to maintain sterile supplies, keep vaccines at the right temperature, and make sure they are not expired. They wear masks, gloves, and other protective gear when giving out the vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccine and Contraindications

3/24/2021

If you have allergies that are not related to vaccines (e.g., food allergies, pet allergies, latex allergies), the CDC recommends that you receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Please discuss with a healthcare provider if you have any questions.   

If you have had an allergic reaction to other types of vaccines, CDC recommends that you speak with a healthcare provider about whether to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.  

If you have had a severe allergic reaction or an immediate allergic reaction—even if it was not severe—to any ingredient in an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get either of the currently available mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.  

If you have had a severe or immediate allergic reaction to any ingredient in the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine (Janssen), you should not get the Janssen vaccine.  

Learn more about the different types of COVID-19 vaccines and their ingredients on the CDC website.  

If you have an allergic reaction to an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, CDC recommends that you should not get the second dose. Examples of allergic reactions include hives, swelling, wheezing, dizziness and weakness, and reactions that need to be treated with epinephrine or EpiPen© or hospital care. 

If you are not able to get the second shot of an mRNA vaccine because you had an allergic reaction to the first shot, ask your doctor if you should get a different type of COVID-19 vaccine.  

For more information, please see CDC’s recommendations for people with allergies: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/allergic-reaction.html and https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/clinical-considerations.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/pfizer/clinical-considerations.html 

8/12/2021

Yes. According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people age 12 and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get very sick with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from getting severely sick from COVID-19.

Data suggest that the benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine outweigh any known or possible risks of vaccination during pregnancy.

CDC released the first United States data on the safety of receiving an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) during pregnancy. The report analyzed data from three safety monitoring systems in place to gather information about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy. These early data did not find any safety concerns for pregnant people who were vaccinated or their babies.  Another report looked at pregnant people enrolled in the v-safe pregnancy registry who were vaccinated before 20 weeks of pregnancy. Scientists did not find an increased risk for miscarriage among people who got an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy.

Many pregnancies reported in these safety monitoring systems are ongoing. CDC will continue to follow people vaccinated during all trimesters of pregnancy to better understand effects on pregnancy and babies.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination while pregnant or breastfeeding.

8/4/2021

Yes, you should still get the COVID-19 vaccine. We do not know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19, and data suggest vaccination offers protection against all current COVID-19 variants, including the Delta variant.

8/4/2021

No, you cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine if you are currently infected. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you must wait until you have completed your isolation period and are considered recovered.

5/18/2021

Yes. According to CDC, it is safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine even if you have gotten another vaccine recently. CDC had recommended waiting 14 days between someone’s last immunization and their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, but updated guidance says that COVID-19 vaccines may be given at or around the same time as other vaccines.  If you have any questions or concerns, check with your healthcare provider.

10/7/2021

Yes. According to CDC, it is safe to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccinations, including the flu vaccine. Your healthcare provider will decide the timing that is best for you. If you are getting the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as another vaccine, your healthcare provider may give you the shots in the same arm or in different arms or legs, depending on which vaccine(s) you are getting.

While there are limited data about giving COVID-19 vaccines with other vaccines, including flu vaccines, experience with giving other vaccines together has shown the way our bodies develop protection and possible side effects are generally similar whether vaccines are given alone or with other vaccines.

If you have concerns about getting both vaccines at the same time, you should speak with a healthcare provider.

Updated 7/16/2021

The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are monitoring reports of Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) after receiving the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. GBS is a neurological disorder in which the body’s immune system damages nerve cells causing muscle weakness or—in the most severe cases—paralysis. Each year in the United States (US), an estimated 3,000 to 6,000 people develop GBS. It is typically triggered by a respiratory or gastrointestinal infection. Most people fully recover from GBS.

Reports of GBS after receipt of the Johnson & Johnson COVID‐19 vaccine in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) are rare but do likely indicate a small possible risk of this side effect following this vaccine. Around 100 preliminary reports of GBS have been detected in VAERS after 12.8 million doses of Johnson & Johnson COVID‐19 vaccine administered. These cases have largely been reported about two weeks after vaccination and mostly in males, many age 50 or older. Available data do not show a similar pattern with mRNA vaccines (Pfizer‐BioNTech and Moderna), after more than 321 million doses administered in the US.

The risk of severe adverse events after COVID-19 vaccination remains rare. Everyone age 12 or older is recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccine and Prevention

Yes. COVID-19 vaccination reduces the risk of COVID-19 and its potentially severe complications. All COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized and approved for use in the US helped protect people against COVID-19, including severe illness, in clinical trial settings. So far, studies that have looked at how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world settings (vaccine effectiveness studies) have shown that these vaccines are working well.

Vaccine effectiveness studies provide growing evidence that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) offer similar protection in real-world conditions as they have in clinical trial settings, reducing the risk of COVID-19, including severe illness, among people who are fully vaccinated by 90 percent or more. Most vaccine effectiveness data now available are related to mRNA vaccines.

In addition to providing protection against COVID-19, there is increasing evidence that COVID-19 vaccines also provide protection against COVID-19 infections without symptoms (asymptomatic infections). COVID-19 vaccination can reduce the spread of disease overall, helping protect people around you.

11/22/2021

All COVID-19 vaccines authorized/approved in the US (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson) are effective to varying degrees against COVID-19 variants, including the Delta variant. For the best protection, you need to be fully vaccinated—meaning two weeks have passed since you’ve gotten the second dose of a two-dose series (Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech) or a single dose of a one-dose series (Johnson & Johnson).

When scientists and researchers identify a COVID-19 variant of concern, they try to find out three things: Does it spread easily? Does it cause more serious illness?  Do our current vaccines protect against this variant?

It is important to remember that every time COVID-19 spreads to a new person, the virus has another chance to evolve and create a new variant. The best way to prevent COVID-19 variants is to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.  This means it is very important to get vaccinated, get a booster dose, wear a mask, keep your distance, and wash your hands.

 

10/28/2021

COVID-19 vaccines are safe, highly effective against serious illness, and reduce the risk of infecting others. However, no vaccine can give you 100% immunity. A small percentage of vaccinated people experience vaccine breakthrough infections, meaning they get COVID-19 even though they are fully vaccinated. People with vaccine breakthrough infections may spread COVID-19 to others, but fully vaccinated people with a vaccine breakthrough infection are less likely to develop serious illness than those who are unvaccinated and get COVID-19. Even when fully vaccinated people develop symptoms, they tend to be less severe symptoms than in people who are unvaccinated. Vaccinated people who get COVID-19 are less likely to need hospitalization or die due to COVID-19 compared to unvaccinated people who get COVID-19.

Studies so far show that vaccinated people are 8 times less likely to be infected and 25 times less likely to experience hospitalization or death. Vaccines remain effective in protecting most people from COVID-19 infection and its complications. Visit CDC’s website for more information.

7/30/2021

People are considered fully vaccinated two or more weeks after they have gotten the second dose of a two-dose series (for Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines) or two or more weeks after they have gotten the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.  

9/21/2021

If you're not fully vaccinated, the Rhode Island Department of Health recommends you wear a mask outdoors in crowded settings and indoors near people you don't live with. For more information, please read the Rhode Island Masking FAQs.

Learn more about how to protect your household from COVID-19.

9/21/2021

Whether or not you’re vaccinated, you still need to wear a mask in the following settings:

  • If a business, private school, camp, healthcare setting, or other entity requires it
  • In public K-12 schools
  • On public transportation like planes, buses, and trains
  • When providing or using paid ground transportation services
  • In transportation hubs like airports and stations
  • In enclosed or semi-enclosed transit stops and waiting areas
  • If working in a healthcare setting where suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients are treated 
  • When required by other federal laws or regulations

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation to wear a mask outdoors in crowded places or during activities when you’re near people who are not fully vaccinated.

9/21/2021

Once you’re fully vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine after close contact if: 

  • You’ve gotten a final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, that is authorized/approved by either the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or WHO (World Health Organization), at least 14 days before your exposure and
  • You haven’t had symptoms of COVID-19 since your exposure.

Close contacts who are fully vaccinated must get a COVID-19 test 3 to 5 days after their last exposure and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they get a negative test result. Vaccinated residents of congregate care settings, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, must still quarantine for 14 days.

Learn more in our Rhode Island Quarantine FAQs and on RIDOH’s website.

9/21/2021

Yes, if you test positive for COVID-19, you must isolate at home even if you’re vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine does not in any way interfere with PCR or rapid test results. If you test positive, please seek guidance from a healthcare provider.

If you test positive for COVID-19, RIDOH will call you within a few days. If you learn that you are positive for COVID-19 before RIDOH calls you, you should take action right away. Do not wait for RIDOH to call you to start making changes in your life and your daily routine. Learn more about quarantine and isolation.

6/24/2021

Vaccinated persons should continue to follow all current guidance to protect themselves and others, including following CDC travel guidance.

9/1/2021

People who completed a COVID-19 vaccination series with a vaccine that has been authorized for emergency use or approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) do not need any additional doses with an FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine.

People who are partially vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine series authorized for emergency use or approved by WHO may be offered an FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine series.

Please review the list of COVID-19 vaccines approved for use by WHO and read more on WHO’s website.

11/24/2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) has authorized several COVID-19 vaccines for use.  For a list of these vaccines and more information, please see: https://covid19.trackvaccines.org/agency/who/

 

9/1/2021

People who completed or partially completed a COVID-19 vaccine series with a vaccine that is not authorized or approved by FDA or not authorized for emergency use or approved by WHO may be offered an FDA-authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine series.

Please review the list of COVID-19 vaccines approved for use by WHO and read more on WHO’s website.

9/2/2021

We can enter WHO-approved vaccinations for Rhode Island residents and people attending school in Rhode Island (with a Rhode Island school address) if they were received outside of the US into the Rhode Island Child and Adult Immunization Registry (RICAIR).

Non-WHO-approved vaccines can also be added, but the person is not considered vaccinated in the US. They should submit the record using the change request form: https://health.ri.gov/forms/records/COVID-Immunization-Record-Correction-Request.pdf.

For a list of WHO-approved vaccinations, please visit https://covid19.trackvaccines.org/agency/who/

 

COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing

9/1/2021

There are two types of tests for COVID-19: viral tests and antibody tests.

Viral tests (i.e., PCR or rapid antigen tests), such as nasal swab test, test for current infection. Neither the recently authorized/approved vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in trials in the United States cause positive viral test results. 

Antibody tests check the blood for antibodies to the virus that causes COVID-19. If your body develops an immune response following a COVID-19 vaccine—which is the goal of vaccination—an antibody test may come back positive. Not all antibody tests check for antibodies specifically from the vaccine. Positive antibody test results also indicate that you may have previously been exposed to the virus causing COVID-19. A positive antibody test result does not necessarily mean you have protective immunity. There is no way to tell whether a positive antibody test is from a previous infection or from vaccination. Experts are looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.

Whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated, if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and get a positive result on a rapid antigen test, RIDOH recommends confirmatory testing. Any State-run test site can give you a PCR test to confirm your rapid antigen test result. If you leave the test site before your rapid antigen test result is ready, you can schedule a follow-up PCR test at portal.ri.gov or by calling 401-222-8022. PCR tests are sent to a lab. Results are usually ready in 1 to 2 days on portal.ri.gov/results. It is very important that you stay home and away from others as much as possible while you wait for your results. Do not go to school or work. 

Whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated, if you have symptoms and get a positive result on your rapid antigen test, you have COVID-19 and must isolate at home. Learn more at covid.ri.gov/whattodo.

COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatment

12/17/2020

The CDC advises waiting 90 days after monoclonal antibody or convalescent plasma treatment before receiving COVID-19 vaccine.

1/10/2022

Due to the increasing percentage of the omicron variant in New England, Rhode Island will no longer be offering COVID-19 MABS infusions for children. The two MABS treatment that had been offered in Rhode Island for children, bamlanivimab and etesevimab and REGEN-COV are no longer effective against the omicron variant. While sotrivimab is still an effective treatment against the omicron variant, it remains in limited supply nationwide and only available for 65 and older and/or severely immunocompromised. The current best defense against severe COVID-19 is vaccination.

 

12/9/2021

Yes. As of December 8, 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for AstraZeneca’s Evusheld for the pre-exposure prevention of COVID-19 in certain adults and pediatric individuals. You may be able to get this treatment if you are:  

  • Age 12 and older and weighing at least 40 kilograms [about 88 pounds], and
  • Not currently infected with COVID-19 and have not been recently exposed to someone infected with COVID-19, and 
  • Have moderate to severely compromised immune systems due to a medical condition or due to taking immunosuppressive medications or treatments and may prevent an adequate immune response to COVID-19 vaccination, or
  • Have a history of severe adverse reactions to a COVID-19 vaccine and/or component(s) of the available COVID-19 vaccines, according to the approved or authorized schedule.

Please note: Pre-exposure prevention with Evusheld is not a substitute for vaccination in individuals for whom COVID-19 vaccination is recommended. The FDA has approved one vaccine and authorized others to prevent COVID-19 and serious clinical outcomes associated with a COVID-19 infection, including hospitalization and death. The FDA urges the public to get vaccinated if eligible. Learn more about FDA-approved or -authorized COVID-19 vaccines.  Talk to your healthcare provider to determine whether, based on your individual circumstances, you are eligible to receive Evusheld, and when it should be administered. Additional resources on the expanded use can be found below:

12/10/2021

Evusheld may reduce your body’s immune response to a COVID-19 vaccine. If you receive a COVID-19 vaccine, you should wait to receive Evusheld until at least two weeks after your COVID-19 vaccination.

COVID-19 Vaccine: Addressing Misinformation

There is a lot of information about COVID-19 vaccines. It can be difficult to know which sources of information to trust. Here are some suggestions for where and how you can look for accurate and trustworthy vaccine information.

6/10/2021

No. It is unclear how long immunity lasts after natural infection after recovering from COVID-19. However, people who get COVID-19 can have serious illnesses, and some have debilitating symptoms that persist for months. This is known as “long COVID,” which can happen to anyone who has had COVID-19 even if the illness was mild. Vaccination is the best protection.

8/12/2021

No. According to CDC, there is currently no evidence that any vaccines—including COVID-19 vaccines—cause fertility problems (problems getting pregnant or having a baby) in women or men. CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination for all people ag 12 or older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant, or might become pregnant in the future.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination while pregnant or breastfeeding.

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs for Healthcare Providers and Professionals

About COVID-19 Vaccines

11/1/2021

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) requires that all employees, interns, and volunteers in RIDOH-licensed healthcare facilities and all RIDOH-licensed healthcare providers are vaccinated for COVID-19.

The regulation applies to all individuals who work in RIDOH-licensed health care facilities and all licensed healthcare providers, whether they work in a licensed facility or not. 

For more information, please visit covid.ri.gov/healthcare-professionals and read the Vaccination Requirement FAQs.

Storage and Handling 

11/16/2021

The CDC Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit has been updated with a COVID-19 Vaccine Addendum. The addendum provides information, recommendations, and resources to assist COVID-19 vaccination providers in properly storing and handling COVID-19 vaccines to meet the requirements of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Provider Agreement. It also includes information on storage and handling best practices. Jurisdictions and providers are encouraged to sign up for email alerts on the Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit website to be notified when updates are made or are encouraged to check the website often. Information on COVID-19 vaccine storage:

• An unpunctured vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine (adult formulation, for people age 12 or older) can be stored at frozen temperatures for up to 2 weeks and at refrigerated temperatures for up to 31 days. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (adult formulation) does not need to be stored in an ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezer.

• You can store COVID-19 vaccines in the same storage unit as other vaccines, as long as there is sufficient space and the unit has a digital data logger installed that has 24/7 temperature monitoring. Reach out to your Immunization Program representative if you have questions about the necessary specifications and data loggers

• You can order in increments of 5 doses (Johnson & Johnson), 6 doses (Pfizer-BioNTech adult formulation), 10 doses (Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric formulation for children age 5 to 11), or 14 doses (Moderna). The vaccine and the ancillary supplies for the number of doses you order will be redistributed by the Rhode Island Department of Health’s depot. They will be dropped off at your practice at a designated date/time by a courier. The vaccine will be packed in a cooler. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines can be sent in standard frozen temperatures if needed and must be noted by the practice. The Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric formulation will be redistributed at refrigerated temperatures. o You may also order the COVID-19 vaccine to be shipped to your practice directly, rather than delivered via courier. If you are interested in this option, please discuss with your Immunization Program representative

• If you are already enrolled and approved as a COVID-19 vaccine provider, you will order through OSMOSSIS. Orders are due on Tuesdays at 12 p.m. for the following week. If you are not enrolled as a COVID-19 vaccine provider or you are unsure on your status, please contact your Immunization Program representative. Resources related to vaccine storage

• Moderna vaccine

• Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

• Pfizer-BioNTech pediatric vaccine for children age 5 to 11

• Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine

1/11/2021

Emergencies such as equipment failures, power outages, severe weather conditions, or natural disasters usually happen without warning and may compromise storage conditions. Because of the limited supply of the COVID-19 vaccines, especially during early US vaccination efforts, it is critical that COVID-19 vaccination providers have plans in place for emergency situations. Some key issues to remember include:

  • Vaccines may remain inside a nonfunctioning unit as long as appropriate temperatures are maintained. Monitor your Digital Data Logger (DDL) to determine when additional action should be taken.
  • Having an on-site generator(s) prevents the need to transport vaccines to an alternative storage facility during a power outage.
  • Emergency situations can arise outside of normal business hours, so your office staff as well your facility’s building manager and/or security staff, if appropriate, should understand how to implement your emergency operation plans or access your facility if necessary.
  • Ensure your facility has the resources on hand to safely pack vaccines for transport during emergencies.

(Source: CDC

COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility and Distribution

9/21/2021

Yes. Primary care providers (PCPs) in Rhode Island have been getting COVID-19 vaccine and are vaccinating in their offices. RIDOH continues to onboard other clinics and PCPs, including family medicine and pediatric practices.

According to the American COVID-19 Vaccine Poll of more than 12,000 Americans, 52.9% of unvaccinated respondents reported that they would prefer to get the COVID-19 vaccine at their doctor’s office. Please consider enrolling as a COVID-19 vaccine administrator to help meet this preference and have vaccine available on site. For more information, please visit covid.ri.gov/vaxproviders.

 

Administering COVID-19 Vaccine

10/6/2021

All organizations and providers who want to administer the COVID-19 vaccine must be enrolled as State-Supplied Vaccine (SSV) providers for the 7/1/2021 - 6/30/2022 program year.

If you are not currently enrolled in the SSV program learn more about enrolling in the SSV Program.

  • If you are already enrolled in the SSV program and would like to enroll as a COVID-19 vaccine provider, contact your Immunization Program representative.
  • If you are not currently enrolled in the SSV program, contact [email protected].  Learn more about enrolling in the SSV Program.

Learn more by visiting covid.ri.gov/vaxproviders.

 

10/28/2021

Some of your patients may have already been vaccinated for COVID-19 at another location, such as a pharmacy or a State-run clinic. You can assess your patient demand by logging into RICAIR, selecting Practice Reports, and selecting “Immunizations Submitted to RICAIR By Other Providers.” This will generate a list of your patients who have received a vaccine at another site or practice.
 
Visit covid.ri.gov/vaxproviders for more information about enrolling as a COVID-19 vaccine provider.

5/20/2021

Yes. According to CDC, COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines may now be administered without regard to timing. This includes simultaneous administration of COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines on the same day as well as coadministration within 14 days. It is unknown whether reactogenicity of COVID-19 vaccine is increased with coadministration, including with other vaccines known to be more reactogenic, such as adjuvanted vaccines or live vaccines.

When deciding whether to coadminister other vaccine(s) with COVID-19 vaccines, providers should consider the following:

  • Whether the patient is behind or at risk of becoming behind on recommended vaccines
  • Their risk of vaccine-preventable disease (e.g., during an outbreak or occupational exposures)
  • The reactogenicity profile of the vaccines

If multiple vaccines are administered at a single visit, administer each injection in a different injection site. For adolescents and adults, the deltoid muscle can be used for more than one intramuscular injection.

Best practices for multiple injections include:

  • Label each syringe with the name and the dosage (amount) of the vaccine, lot number, the initials of the preparer, and the exact beyond-use time, if applicable.
  • Separate injection sites by 1 inch or more, if possible.
  • Administer the COVID-19 vaccines and vaccines that may be more likely to cause a local reaction (e.g., tetanus-toxoid-containing and adjuvanted vaccines) in different limbs, if possible.

For more information, visit CDC’s Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States.

7/22/2021

The CDC states that people should get the second dose as close to the recommended interval (21 days after the first dose for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, 28 days for Moderna vaccines) as possible. However, if someone can’t get the second dose during this time frame, they can get it up to 4 days before or at any time after the recommended date and be considered fully vaccinated.

 

2/16/2021

RIDOH has established a provider-only Help Desk to assist with technical issues related to provider standup, PrepMod support (online clinic management and appointment scheduling system), onboarding providers, and staff inquiries.

For inquiries related to PrepMod or data reporting requirements, please call the COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Help Desk

  • Phone: 888-662-4341
  • Hours
    • Monday – Friday: 7:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    • Saturday – Sunday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Email: [email protected]

CDC has issued guidance for clinicians if there are errors in vaccine administration related to site/route, age, vaccine intervals, mixed series, dosage, storage/handling, and diluents.

For all vaccine administration errors:

4/8/2021

Yes. Patients may contact your office if they have been unable to access their COVID-19 vaccination record at https://portal.ri.gov/VaccineRecord/s/. When a patient looks up their COVID-19 vaccine record, an accurate cell phone or email address is required for authentication. They must also enter their name, date of birth, and zip code to access the record. Providers can help patients by updating cell phone, email address, and other information in RICAIR web on the demographics page. Patient privacy is better protected this way because providers can more accurately verify their patients' identity when updating information. 

Providers who do not currently have access to RICAIR or need help in updating demographics can request assistance by emailing [email protected].  

Patients can also submit a data correction form to RICAIR here

COVID-19 Variants and Vaccines

11/29/2021

Data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for us in the US offer protection against all current COVID-19 variants, including the Delta variant. Vaccination reduces the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death from the Delta variant. Some vaccinated people can get the Delta variant of COVID-19, but most hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated.

Please note: On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified a new variant, B.1.1.529, as a Variant of Concern and has named it Omicron. No cases of this variant have been identified in the US to date. CDC is following the details of this new variant, first reported to the WHO by South Africa. Among other prevention measures, CDC recommends that everyone 5 years and older protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting fully vaccinated. CDC encourages a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for those who are eligible. Read the entire CDC statement here.

9/21/2021

Viruses change all the time—this is normal and expected. These changes can happen when a virus moves from person to person. When a virus changes, the new version is called a variant. There are multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. However, the Delta variant is much more aggressive than other strains we’ve seen because it spreads more easily and more quickly and may cause more serious illness among people of all ages, including young people. 

COVID-19 Vaccines and Contraindications

7/16/2021

It is unclear if people who developed myocarditis or pericarditis after a first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine may be at increased risk of further adverse cardiac effects following a second dose of the vaccine. Until additional safety data are available, experts recommend that people who develop myocarditis or pericarditis after a first dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine defer receiving the second dose.

Administration of the second dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series can be considered in certain circumstances.

Clinicians should consult current clinical guidance for information on the evaluation and management of myocarditis.

People who have a history of myocarditis or pericarditis unrelated to mRNA COVID-19 vaccination may receive any FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine after the episode of myocarditis or pericarditis has completely resolved. The CDC is continuing to investigate cases of myocarditis or pericarditis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination; this guidance may be updated as new information is obtained. All cases of myocarditis or pericarditis following COVID-19 vaccination should be reported to VAERS.
 
Review the complete guidance, Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States.

 8/4/2021

Please review the information about vaccine contraindications and precautions to assist you in your discussions about COVID-19 vaccination in patients who had an initial reaction to a vaccine dose: CDC interim clinical considerations for COVID-19 vaccines

If, after reviewing this information, you feel that additional advice would be helpful for a specific patient scenario, you can consult with an allergist-immunologist, and/or the clinical safety line from CDC: 

  • Healthcare personnel or health departments in the United States can request a consultation from the Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment COVIDvax project about an individual patient residing in the United States for a complex COVID-19 vaccine safety question not readily addressed by CDC guidance.  This request can be made through CDC-INFO by calling 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) or submitting a request via CDC-INFO webform
  • In addition, information about these cases should be reported to VAERS.

Please also note that adverse events that occur in a recipient following COVID-19 vaccination should be reported to VAERS. Vaccination providers are required by the FDA to report the following that occur after COVID-19 vaccination under EUA: 

  • Vaccine administration errors 
  • Serious adverse events 
  • Cases of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome 
  • Cases of COVID-19 that result in hospitalization or death 

Reporting is encouraged for any other clinically significant adverse event, even if it is uncertain whether the vaccine caused the event. Information on how to submit a report to VAERS is available at https://vaers.hhs.gov or by calling 1-800-822-7967. 

4/15/2021

For timely consults, providers can call Lifespan’s Infectious Disease (ID) Consult Line at 401-474-7622. This line is for providers only.  

For patient referrals, providers or clinic staff can call 401-793-2020 to set up an appointment for an outpatient visit for a patient to see a physician. 

2/25/2021

Appropriate medical treatment used to manage immediate allergic reactions must be immediately available in the event an acute anaphylactic reaction occurs following administration of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. For more information on anaphylaxis management, visit CDC’s interim considerations for the management of anaphylaxis following COVID-19 vaccination and laboratory evaluation of persons who experience anaphylaxis after vaccination

4/20/2021

People should get vaccinated once they have recovered from COVID-19 and completed their isolation period. Getting vaccinated is a safer way to build protection than getting infected with COVID-19. According to CDC, the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19 outweighs any benefit of natural immunity.

3/11/2021

For vaccinated people who later experience COVID-19, prior receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine should not affect treatment decisions (including use of monoclonal antibodies, convalescent plasma, antiviral treatment, or corticosteroid administration) or timing of such treatments.  

If a person is fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks after completion of a two-dose mRNA series or single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine) and tests positive for SARS-CoV-2, healthcare providers and local health departments are encouraged to request the specimen be held and to report the case to their state health department immediately. CDC will work with the state health department to collect information about the case. In addition, information about these cases should be reported to VAERS. 

8/4/2021

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have recovered should still get vaccinated. Experts do not yet know how long you are protected after having COVID-19. Vaccines help protect you from getting COVID-19 again, and data suggest that COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States offer protection against all current COVID-19 variants.

10/28/2021

Now, more than ever, it is important to take time to have vaccine conversations with parents, support vaccination in your practice, and answer any questions parents or patients may have. CDC offers a variety of resources about adolescent vaccination, benefits of getting a COVID-19 vaccine, coadministration of vaccines, and vaccination myths and facts. Learn more by visiting their web page: How to Talk with Parents about COVID-19 Vaccination |Tips for Pediatricians, Family Medicine Practitioners, Pharmacists & Other Pediatric Providers.

RIDOH has developed a two-pager with key talking points about adolescent vaccination:

Why Should Adolescents Get Vaccinated for COVID-19?
English | Spanish | Portuguese

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ Archive