Town vaccination clinics have started

Town vaccination clinics have started

NORTH PROVIDENCE – The town will host its first vaccination clinic for senior residents Friday, Feb. 19, at the North Providence High School cafeteria, working off a list of residents age 75 and older compiled in Town Hall and at the North Providence Mancini Center.

Mayor Charles Lombardi said he expects quite a number of people to come off the waiting list before Friday after hearing that many have been able to get COVID-19 vaccines through CVS or Walgreens. The town’s clinics will be in the form of a closed pod, meaning residents must sign up on the town website in advance and the events will only be accessible to specific lists of people.

The first four clinics, all to be held at NPHS, 1828 Mineral Spring Ave., are:

• Friday, Feb. 19, from 10 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

• Saturday, Feb. 27, from 1 to 7:15 p.m.

• Wednesday, March 3, from 4 to 10:15 p.m.

• And Saturday, March 13, from 11 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Find the links at www.northprovidenceri.gov . The first two dates appeared to be full as of press time, while the second two had openings. Residents will also have the opportunity to register for their second vaccine on the day of their first one. Second doses are currently scheduled for March 20, 27, 31, and April 10.

There are roughly 4,500 senior citizens age 75 and older, said Lombardi, and the town will be receiving about 220 to 230 vaccines per week.

The mayor himself will be waiting for the next round of vaccines for those age 65 or older, as he won’t turn 75 until July.

Lombardi said officials fought to have their own pod for easy access to town seniors, saying the opening round of vaccinations where some residents in Marieville were traveling six miles to a clinic in Providence just wasn’t good enough. Eventually, he said, he expects the state to be running eight pods total.

The mayor said incoming Gov. Dan McKee has been holding regular Zoom calls with Rhode Island mayors to update them on vaccine information and other topics, including helping local businesses.

“This is more cooperation and involvement than we’ve ever had,” he said, reiterating his stance that it’s time for Gov. Gina Raimondo to step down as she prepares to take the position of secretary of commerce in President Biden’s administration for the sake of good government in the state.

Lombardi, who is now president of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns, counts McKee as a close friend. He said he expects to have a great working relationship with him. McKee, he said, understands as a former mayor of Cumberland what it’s like to respond to a complaint about a street not being plowed or a sewer backing up, including working with police, fire and public works.

“He was one of us, so he can relate to that,” he said. “He’s getting the municipal leaders involved, so everyone is very appreciative of that.”

North Providence residents are receiving the Moderna vaccine. Any additional clinics and schedules will also be posted on the town website.

Those seniors who need help with registering for the vaccine, or those who do not have access to a computer to register, can call the Mancini Center at 401-231-0742.