SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hampden County is lagging behind every other county in the state when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations.
With just 42 percent of adults getting at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, Hampden County has the lowest percentage of vaccinated adults in the state. The rest of western Massachusetts is at 53 percent or more.
Springfield Health Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris says the strategy to get people vaccinated must shift. In an attempt to get more people vaccinated, Springfield’s vax force is now knocking on the doors of eligible residents to encourage them to get their shots. They might even consider giving incentives to get people vaccinated.
Caulton-Harris told 22News, “The city of Springfield, in order to increase the vaccination rate, has opened up three new centers. One is at Greenleaf, one is JC Williams, and the Greek Cultural Center. So we’re trying to bring the vaccine closer to our residents so that everyone has access to vaccination.”
There is a direct link between new case rates and vaccination rates, meaning lower vaccination rates means higher cases of COVID-19 in the community. For example, Chicopee and Springfield are the only western Massachusetts communities still in the red zone, when Worcester and Boston with higher levels of vaccination even though they’re bigger cities are in the yellow.