Cities, towns continue efforts to vaccinate residents as Delta variant remains a threat


NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts hit its goal Tuesday of 4.1 million vaccinated, but some communities are still struggling to get their residents the shots.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has reached a new low in the state this week,
but western Massachusetts continues to be behind in vaccinations. Data shows about 52-percent of Hampden County residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

That ranks last in Massachusetts behind Bristol County at 54 percent. The contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus is responsible for about 1 in 5 COVID-19 cases in the United States and is targeting younger people. Hampden County has the youngest by age population in western Massachusetts, which makes the variant more of a concern.

Domenic Sarno, mayor of Springfield told 22New, “The problem is the 18 to 35-year-olds. They feel like they are invincible and I hope they are but I tell them why to take the chance. Shots in the arms, shots in the arms.”

Cities and towns are doing incentives to try and get people to get the vaccine. Springfield vaccine clinics will remain in operation for the next several weeks.

On a national level, it doesn’t look like the U.S. will hit its goal of partially vaccinating 70 percent of adults by the Fourth of July.

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