HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The state’s Vaccine Equity Initiative has partnered with the city of Holyoke to host free COVID-19 clinics, urging families to stop by ahead of the school year.
The clinics are held at different locations everyday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. but so far, not many people have stopped by to either get inoculated or receive a booster shot. 22News spoke with Michele Hyde of the Vaccine Equity Initiative at Tuesday’s event in McNally Field, who said there may be several reasons why the turnout has been slow.
“There’s a couple of factors. I believe some of the kids are in camp. So if they’re in camp at the same time that we’re at the parks, that could have a timing problem with that,” said Hyde. She added that summer vacations may be impacting attendance as well.
Roughly 90 percent of the state’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 58 percent have received a full vaccination schedule and a booster dose. However, grade school aged children are the least vaccinated population in the state, particularly in Hampden County.
“We want to give kids the best protection as they return to school, so they are less likely to get sick and have to miss classes and activities,” said Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke. “We hope these convenient, all-ages clinics make it easier for families to get their children vaccinated and keep them safe.”
The next vaccination clinics are scheduled to be held Wednesday at Sullivan School, Thursday at Library Park and Friday at Veterans Park in Holyoke from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.