Urgency on vaccinations continue as Hampden County lags behind rest of the state

Massachusetts

Kevin Fisher, of Quincy, Mass., left, receives his second shot of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from RN Katherine Francisco, of Avon, Mass., right, at a mass vaccination clinic, Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Mass. A month after every adult in the U.S. became eligible for the vaccine, a distinct geographic pattern has emerged: The highest vaccination rates are concentrated in the Northeast, while the lowest ones are mostly in the South. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Vaccinations remain an urgent matter at this stage of the pandemic and in Massachusetts, progress has better than most states.

Although, vaccination rates are vastly different depending on where you look. Most counties are at or above 40 percent, in Hampden County they aren’t even a third of the way there yet.

“It boggles my mind,” said Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. “There are no excuses.”

Mayor Sarno told 22News this data led the city to change its vaccination campaign strategy now going after those in the 18 to 35 age range.

“For some reason the young people feel invincible,” said Mayor Sarno. “So we targeting them with different PSA’s social influences.”

For those delaying vaccinations, health officials say there is a time crunch. The longer the virus circulates, the more opportunities for new variants to become vaccine resistant. We are seeing the devastating consequences in countries like India, without enough vaccines.

“We are in a different position because of vaccination, and because of vaccination alone,” said Dr. Robert Roose, Chief Medical Officer at Mercy Medical Center. “We can’t take that for granted.”

Dr. Roose doesn’t believe there isn’t a magic percentage we will hit for herd immunity. With vaccinations going the way they are, Dr. Roose thinks we will get to a point where there are low levels of COVID-19, and it becomes a less threatening virus, that doesn’t cause severe symptoms.

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