Barrington near the top in vaccination rate in RI

Only East Greenwich and Jamestown have higher vaccination rates in RI

By Josh Bickford
Posted 4/19/21

Barrington is leading the way for East Bay communities when it comes to the percentage of residents who are at least partially vaccinated for Covid-19.

In fact, Barrington is one of the top-three …

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Barrington near the top in vaccination rate in RI

Only East Greenwich and Jamestown have higher vaccination rates in RI

Posted

Barrington is leading the way for East Bay communities when it comes to the percentage of residents who are at least partially vaccinated for Covid-19.

In fact, Barrington is one of the top-three communities in the state when it comes to the percentage of partially vaccinated residents.

Information shared on the state’s website shows that 66.8 percent of Barrington residents were at least partially vaccinated as of April 16. That’s a higher percentage than in Warren, Bristol, East Providence, Tiverton and Portsmouth. Only East Greenwich (70 percent) and Jamestown (68.8 percent) have higher vaccination rates than Barrington.

“We’re doing better than most communities,” said Barrington Town Manager Jim Cunha.

The state has made a special effort to increase vaccination rates in urban, densely-populated communities. There were individual programs for cities such as Central Falls, and the state also opened up vaccinations to wider audiences of people (16-and-older) in certain cities earlier than in suburban towns such as Barrington.

In Central Falls, 52 percent of the population is at least partially vaccinated. In Pawtucket, 43.8 percent of the population is partially vaccinated.

Barrington’s town manager also spoke about the percentage of the town’s first responders — police officers and firefighters — who have been vaccinated. He said that 97 percent of the town’s firefighters (28 out of 29) have received their Covid-19 vaccination, while 66 percent of the town’s police officers (16 out of 24) are vaccinated. Mr. Cunha said the one firefighter who has not yet been vaccinated had recently recovered from Covid-19.

When asked for possible reasons more local firefighters had been vaccinated than police officers, Mr. Cunha said the police department was a bit younger in age and “statistics show younger people are less likely to get (the shot).”

“Some of them don’t want it,” Mr. Cunha said. “And we can’t make them get it.

“You cannot force anyone in any way to get the shot.”

The town manager said local officials encouraged the first responders to get vaccinated. He was also quick to add that all of Barrington’s first responders are careful to wear their PPE (personal protective equipment) when they’re on the job. And, he added, it’s worth noting that the percentage of Barrington first-responders who have been vaccinated still exceeds the percentage of people in the general population, although that figure increases daily.

Federal stimulus package

Mr. Cunha said Barrington is expecting to receive $4.72 million in federal stimulus money related to Covid-relief. He said the rules and requirements surrounding the use of that money are still being decided, but he has learned that the town will need to spend all that funding by Dec. 31, 2024.

Mr. Cunha said he does not want to build in any structural deficits to the budget when using the stimulus funding, so he wants to avoid using the money to pay for additional personnel or other recurring costs.

“Haines Park, paving roads, the high school roof, those are things we could potentially use it for,” Mr. Cunha said.

Mr. Cunha said he has assembled a task force to help build a plan for spending the federal stimulus money once it makes its way to Barrington.

“I want to be completely transparent,” he added.

 

Vaccination rates (as of April 16)

East Greenwich

Percentage of population at least partially vaccinated: 70 percent

Number of people partially vaccinated: 7,104

Jamestown

Percentage of population at least partially vaccinated: 68.8 percent

Number of people partially vaccinated: 3,156

Barrington

Percentage of population at least partially vaccinated: 66.8 percent

Number of people partially vaccinated: 8,459

Central Falls

Percentage of population at least partially vaccinated: 52 percent

Number of people partially vaccinated: 7,632

Pawtucket

Percentage of population at least partially vaccinated: 43.8 percent

Number of people partially vaccinated: 25,675

Warren

Percentage of population at least partially vaccinated: 52.3 percent

Number of people partially vaccinated: 4,742

Bristol

Percentage of population at least partially vaccinated: 47.9 percent

Number of people partially vaccinated: 9,465

East Providence

Percentage of population at least partially vaccinated: 48.5 percent

Number of people partially vaccinated: 19,355

Tiverton

Percentage of population at least partially vaccinated: 39.5 percent

Number of people partially vaccinated: 5,355

Portsmouth

Percentage of population at least partially vaccinated: 52 percent

Number of people partially vaccinated: 7,655

Rhode Island

Percentage of population at least partially vaccinated: 49.1 percent

Percentage of population fully vaccinated: 34.6 percent

Number of people in RI partially vaccinated: 472,024

Number of people in RI fully vaccinated: 327,744

2021 by East Bay Newspapers

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.