HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke Mayor Joshua A. Garcia and Holyoke Public Schools (HPS) Superintendent Anthony Soto received their COVID-19 booster shots on Thursday at a vaccine clinic, and brought their children to get their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
More than 70 Holyoke Public Schools students, family members and staff attended the free COVID-19
vaccination clinic in the Donahue School Gym. The clinic was made possible in partnership with the Holyoke Health Center and the HPS Health Services Department.
“This partnership between the Holyoke Health Center and school district makes it easier for Holyoke students, families and school staff to obtain their initial or booster COVID-19 shots,” said Mayor Garcia. “It’s helping my family, too. I am glad I was there to support my children when they received their first shots. I encourage all Holyokers to consider vaccination for themselves and their eligible family members in order to protect our entire community, especially the most vulnerable.”
Superintendent Soto also brought his son for his first COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday. “I believe in the science behind the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine. I am thankful that children ages 5 and up are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines. This is an important step to keep our children, their families, and staff safe. It also will help keep students in school so that they can learn alongside their peers and with the support of our educators.”
Holyoke students, families and staff who still need shots are encouraged to look into other opportunities to get the COVID-19 vaccine, including:
● Holyoke Health Center, which offers COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5 and up from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each weekday at 230 Maple Street. Extended hours are also available on Tuesday, December 14 and Tuesday, December 21 from 4:45-6:30 p.m. To make a vaccine appointment for any child age 5 or older, or for adults, call (413) 420-2200.
● Your child’s healthcare provider may offer free vaccines. Visit their website, check your health portal, or call the office directly to ask if they offer COVID-19 vaccinations.
● Some local pharmacies also offer COVID-19 vaccine appointments, including some that allow walk-ins.
● Massachusetts also provides a directory of local vaccine providers and their available appointments at https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/.
Vaccine appointments are considered an excused absence from school attendance. Holyoke Public Schools is working with the Board of Health and Holyoke Health Center to schedule more clinics in schools and throughout the community.