COVID-19 vaccination sites offering walk-in appointments in Chicopee, Holyoke

Coronavirus Local Impact

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Multiple COVID-19 vaccination sites are hoping to welcome more people as doses become readily available.

Governor Baker announced the state will move away from COVID-19 mass vaccination sites and focus on supporting smaller, regional sites. But some smaller sites in western Massachusetts are having trouble filling appointments.

“A theory we’ve talked about is we’re headed into warmer weather where people might not feel like they’re not at as much of a risk,” Baystate Health pharmacist, Aaron Michelucci told 22News.

Other theories Michelucci gave are the people who were energetic to get it have already done it, case counts being down, and other people needing transportation to get to sites.

Last week Baystate Health vaccinated 1,700 people at their 361 Whitney Avenue clinic in Holyoke, compared to up to 4,200 doses the previous week. Now, they’re offering walk-in vaccines the clinic from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. through Friday.

Over at the Castle of Knights vaccination site on Memorial Drive in Chicopee, they’re opening the clinic up to walk-ins in an effort to get more people vaccinated.

“Our slots are filling up slowly. We need more people to come,” Chicopee Health Director, Lisa Sanders told 22News.

In order to fill appointments, the Castle of Knights is taking walk-ins until 1:30 p.m. Tuesday and from 10:00 a.m. Wednesday. They are able to administer 500 doses a day for any state resident. So far they’ve vaccinated just under 400 people since being open.

“I think because of the whole J&J incident people are hesitant. But people still need to get vaccinated. It has been proven to be safe. So we’re just really encouraging so that we can get back to normalcy that everyone get vaccinated,” Sanders continued.

Overall in the state, surveys have shown that vaccine hesitancy rates are very low. Governor Baker says of the 30 percent of the unvaccinated state population, only 10 percent have decided to never get the vaccine.

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