Vaccines continue to provide new optimism in western Massachusetts

Coronavirus Local Impact

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — A weight has been lifted off the shoulders of thousands of local residents who’ve received the COVID-19 vaccine.

Newly vaccinated folks at the Eastfield Mall vaccination center told 22News about a new surge of freedom they now feel.

“I feel good, kind of relieved. I was a little nervous going in, but the nurses were really really nice, they put me at ease. So just happy to have it over with,” Paula Forrest from Hampden said.

Once you’re vaccinated, your thoughts immediately turn to those you love, who by necessity you’ve had to keep at a distance. Now that she’s been vaccinated, Forrest can’t wait to close that distance.

“I want to visit my grandson down in Tennessee, and my granddaughter, get together with friends again, and there’s some family I haven’t seen in about a year and a half. So we can have a big party after everyone’s vaccinated,” she said.

As soon as Steve Bartosz of Chicopee was inoculated, his thoughts quickly turned to embrace the son he hasn’t seen for a while.

“My son is coming in from Seattle, Washington,” Bartosz said.

And those who’ve been vaccinated in western Massachusetts are far from alone among Americans who embrace the protection the vaccine affords us. At last count, some 156 million Americans, which is 47 percent of the population, are feeling protected from COVID-19.

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