When the COVID-19 vaccine first became available earlier this year, it was like a treasure hunt to get an appointment.
The stuff was liquid gold. People would spend hours, literally hours, going back and forth between their computer, phone, tablet and more, hitting the refresh button with the hope of hitting the jackpot for a vaccine appointment.
People who found “secret” ways to get appointments offered to help others and it became a challenge for some folks to “win” an appointment.
In mid-March it became an easier task for many as more vaccines became available. Once pharmacies began offering it, getting a vaccination appointment became even easier. And now, vaccine clinics are popping up all over as the state mass vax sites prepare to close in July.
Westfield and Southwick public schools worked to bring vaccine clinics right to schools where students over age 12 with permission from guardians could receive the vaccine, as well as staff and anyone from the public. Westfield hosted its clinic already, but Southwick’s is June 15 in case anyone can stop by. (Please see the front page story in today’s edition for details).
Six Flags teamed up with Baystate to offer a clinic at the amusement park June 19 and The Mill at Crane Pond and CVS are joining forces for a clinic June 19-21 at the Millworks Co-Sharing Workspace. It seems that most barriers to vaccinations are no longer a problem.
I encourage everyone who is able to get vaccinated, and wants to get vaccinated, to attend one of these free clinics. Locally, vaccines are offered at CVS, Walgreens, Big Y and Stop & Shop, among other places. Most offer walk-in vaccinations at no cost. If transportation is your only barrier to being vaccinated, the local senior centers can help older adults and Uber offers free rides to get vaccinated.
There are many people who cannot be vaccinated. There are many who don’t wish to be vaccinated. But for everyone else, there are numerous opportunities.
Please take advantage of them and please – everyone – be respectful of the choices people make.