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March 17 - To the Salve Regina community: Vaccine access and eligibility

Dear Salve Regina community,

As many of you may have questions about vaccine access and eligibility, we hope this message will provide you with the latest available information. Currently, the demand for the coronavirus vaccine is still greatly outpacing available supply. While we are all eager to receive the vaccine as quickly as possible, it is important to remember that registration is only open for those who are currently eligible as determined by the Rhode Island Department of Health.

Who is Eligible?

Rhode Islanders who are 60+ years of age and who are 16-64 years of age with specific underlying health conditions are currently eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine. This includes people who live, work or attend school in Rhode Island.

Eligible underlying conditions include:

  • Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
  • Lung disease, heart disease or kidney disease
  • Weakened immune system due to cancer, chemotherapy or radiation, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell disease, certain medications and/or pregnancy

For a full list of qualifying conditions, visit covid.ri.gov/vaccination.

Who is Not Eligible?

It has been reported that some college students in Rhode Island are registering for vaccinations under the “congregate care” eligibility criteria. Please note that in Rhode Island, congregate settings do not include residence halls. The Rhode Island Department of Health has defined congregate settings as nursing homes, group homes or similar settings that house individuals at higher risk for serious illness and hospitalization from COVID-19.

If you attempt to schedule a vaccination appointment under the congregate care criteria and you do not meet the other eligibility requirements listed above, your appointment will not be honored. Your cooperation in assuring that your actions do not slow access for those who are currently eligible is greatly appreciated.

Schedule an Appointment

In addition to state-run vaccination sites in Middletown, Providence and Cranston, appointments are available at retail pharmacies, city and town clinics and through hospital systems, community health centers, and other targeted locations.

Students who are eligible for the vaccine are reminded that the Pfizer vaccine requires at least 21 days between doses and the Moderna vaccine requires at least 28 days between doses. With this in mind, please pay careful attention when scheduling your second dose to ensure that you will still be on campus/in Newport.

If You’ve Been Vaccinated

Once you have been fully vaccinated (two doses of Pfizer/Moderna or one dose of Johnson & Johnson), please email a copy of your vaccination card to healthservices@salve.edu to keep in your medical record on campus.

Vaccine Notification List

If you are not yet eligible for the vaccine, you can join Rhode Island’s vaccine interest notification list by visiting portal.ri.gov. The state is using this list to notify people when they are eligible to schedule an appointment. The state-run vaccination sites are also using this list to identify and contact Rhode Islanders if they anticipate having any unused doses in open vials as they near the end of the day, beginning with currently eligible groups.

As we begin to look beyond this academic year, we strongly encourage all members of the Salve Regina community to receive the coronavirus vaccine as soon as they are eligible. High vaccination rates among our campus community will be key to achieving normality in our daily operations for the fall 2021 semester and beyond.