Springfield community leaders step up vaccination efforts

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A major effort Saturday was held to increase the number of Springfield residents vaccinated against COVID-19.

Some attending the vaccination celebration at Magazine Park, sponsored by the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services, did just that and were so delighted for the protection.

“I would like for everyone to get out there, because you know it saves lives and that’s the most important thing,” said resident Felix Caballeros. “Family members don’t realize that, you’re bringing that to another person and it could really affect them.”

22News spoke with some residents who’ve already received their vaccinations and have been carrying a positive message to friends and family.

“With a lot of the different variants coming on, with the COVID vaccine, I’m definitely reaching out to my family members to make sure that they’re safe,” said Narzaya Johnson. “By informing them and letting them know it’s important for them to get the vaccine. Not only for themselves, but for our family, the community, and the people that we work around everyday.”

Springfield’s Health and Human Services Commissioner, Helen Caulton-Harris made it clear the biggest enemy has been vaccination misinformation and the channels that spread those falsehoods.

“It’s critical, again that we make sure we are giving credible information. The disinformation that is on social media, I would advise individuals to do their own research. Don’t just listen to what is being put out there,” Caulton-Harris recommends.

Black COVID Coalition Chairman State Representative Bud Williams spoke of more vaccination clinics being in the Mason Square community to lift Springfield’s disappointing 41-percent vaccination level. When statewide, it’s more than 60-percent.

“The key here with the Delta variant is that people have to be vaccinated,” said Williams. ” If we can get one, one, one, one, then they all add up. Every time we get one, we clap our hands.”

And with even greater urgency, community leaders appeal to the unvaccinated urging them to listen to vaccinated family and friends, and to listen and follow their good advice.

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