HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Respiratory illnesses have been circulating in our area. Some nearby school systems report a slight drop in the attendance of students as a result. In Holyoke: efforts to get families vaccinated.

The Holyoke Public Library this evening set up a COVID vaccine clinic ahead of the holidays when many families will get together to celebrate.

Organizers of the clinic invited Holyoke residents, especially families, to come together to get the jab. They told 22News that Holyoke was one of the hardest hit communities during the COVID pandemic.

Jenneke Reynolds, from the Public Health Excellence Grant, told 22News, “It’s important for everybody to do what they can to take care of themselves, and for a lot of people the vaccines are a big part of that in helping keep people safer.”

The CDC’s COVID data tracker shows the majority of western Massachusetts has low COVID-19 levels.

Over in Springfield, a spokesperson for the Springfield school system told 22News they’re hopeful that following the holiday season, illnesses will decrease and attendance records will go back up.