SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield’s Behavioral Health Network is getting right to work before the return to school Monday, getting as many children vaccinated against COVID-19 as possible.

Personnel from the Behavioral Health Network joined staff members at the Forest Park Zoo Saturday to provide protection from the COVID-19 virus for children returning to school. They gave either the first, second, or booster doses of the vaccine.

Saturday’s clinic at Forest Park is by no means the city’s only clinic operating throughout Springfield. The Springfield Department of Health and Human Services, the Caring Health Center and, the Gandara Clinic also comprise this network of COVID protection.

Parents throughout the Pioneer Valley took advantage of this inoculation for their children. Stephanie Hodges from Wilbraham told 22News, “Today we came to the Zoo in Forest Park to get my daughter vaccinated for the first time. She just turned five this summer, so we finally got the opportunity to get her vaccinated. It’s very exciting.”

Next weekend’s Stone Soul Festival at Blunt Park will provide a golden opportunity for more children to receive their vaccine. Stone Soul is one of Springfield’s best attended celebrations and it will be the site of a COVID-19 vaccine clinic throughout the run of its iconic gathering.