EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – COVID-19 vaccinations are underway in western Massachusetts for a new age group, adolescents 12 to 15.
“I’m really excited I was able to get vaccinated, said Liam Howe of Springfield. “Yeah, it’s really cool.”
“It’s great knowing I’m not going to be getting sick and I can keep everyone safe around me, said Carson Stromwall of Springfield. “It’s awesome being vaccinated.”
That was consensus for young teens getting the Pfizer shot at the Big Y Pharmacy clinic in East Longmeadow. It’s also a relief for the parents knowing their kids can be protected.
“It’s a weight off our shoulders knowing he’s on his way to getting fully vaccinated, so we can do stuff in the summertime without having to worry,” said Steve Stromwell of Springfield.
Young people had to be accompanied by their parents or guardian in order to get vaccinated at this clinic. They could make an appointment or just show up on the day. Leaders running the site were surprised just how busy it was right when they opened.
“Because of the quick turnaround, we had a lot of walk-ins today, people realizing that it’s out there, it’s okay, and they’re ready to get their kids vaccinated,” said Jennifer Salvon, Manager of Big Y Pharmacy Operations.
Salvon expects the path to herd immunity will get more difficult, but she is expecting a big increase in vaccine demand before the start of the next school year.
“There’s going to be another push in August for people who have been holding back, but when they go back to school they are going to realize they need to get it,” said Salvon.
Governor Baker says we need about a million more people vaccinated to achieve herd immunity in Massachusetts. Big Y Pharmacy’s next “first dose clinic” in East Longmeadow is next Saturday, May 22.