SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield’s Department of Health & Human Services is hosted a vaccination clinic at St. John’s Congregational Church in Springfield’s Mason Square area.

On Saturday morning, vaccines were available and encouraged to those who have not received a booster yet. Residents were able to register for an appointment for either the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster shot or their 1st or 2nd COVID-19 vaccine. Walk-ins were also accepted.

Health officials nationwide have expressed concern that many people have not gotten their boosters as we head into the colder months. Less than 1 million Massachusetts residents have received a 2nd booster shot and experts urge everyone able to get one.

“During the colder months we gather indoors and as we gather indoors we are closer to each other, the potential of the virus to spread increases and so Fall is a very important time for vaccination,” said Helen R. Caulton-Harris, Commissioner of Health and Human Services City of Springfield.

Sharon Ralls Retired, a Springfield Public School Administrator, told 22News, “Working in the public school system, when you’re around a lot of students, it’s definitely important to make sure that you’re healthy so you can give the best to your students so I would recommend everybody get vaccinated.”

The updated boosters protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5. As with other vaccine-preventable diseases, you are protected best from COVID-19 when you stay up to date with the recommended vaccinations.

According to a media advisory, HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris said, “I want to thank Mayor Domenic Sarno for his continued and steadfast leadership in addressing the public health needs and challenges we have experienced throughout this COVID-19 pandemic.  I also want to thank St. John’s Congregational Church for hosting another COVID-19 vaccine clinic for our residents.  The Department of Health and Human Services is proud of the work, along with our partner agencies and organizations, to bring this vital and life-saving vaccine and a booster shot to our residents.”

Over 60 Springfield residents were able to get vaccinated and boosted at St. John’s Saturday.