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Vaccination Clinic planned at Westfield High School


WESTFIELD – Westfield Public Schools and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health have announced a Pfizer COVID-19 and Janssen J&J COVID-19 vaccination clinic for students, staff and community members ages 12 and up on Aug. 26 at Westfield High School from 2:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Referring to the School Committee’s Aug. 16 decision to require masks indoors for all staff and students at the start of school, Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski said part of the concern in terms of masking was the low vaccination rates of eligible residents. He said Westfield’s vaccination rates are way behind the state’s, with only 34.5 percent of 12 to 15-year-olds and 30.9 percent of 16 to 19-year-olds fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated adults in Westfield are at 49.4 percent, also way behind the state.

Czaporowski said Westfield Public Health Director Joseph Rouse had endorsed requiring masking prior to the meeting.

The School Committee also voted on Aug. 16 to apply for the state’s free Test and Stay program, which Czaporowski said would allow them to give quick tests to close contacts of anyone testing positive for COVID-19. “If you’re vaccinated and are a close contact, we can test you and have the results in 15 minutes, and you can stay in school,” he said, if the result is negative.

Czaporowski said this testing will be important because the state Department of Public Health (DPH) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) otherwise require a quarantine period of 10 days for close contacts, with no remote option for students.

“Our goal is to keep our staff safe, our students safe, and to keep our schools open,” Czaporowski said. He said at this time he does not have the option to close a classroom or a school due to an outbreak and have them continue remotely, because the state Board of Education and the governor have said they want all students in school five days a week.

Czaporowski also expressed concern for the health and safety of teachers and staff. “The more people that get vaccinated allows more people to stay in school,” he said.

Registration for the Aug. 26 vaccination clinic is simple to complete using a cell phone, tablet or computer, and going to . The link is also available at under COVID-19 Testing and Health Services.

Parents/guardians are able to give fully-compliant consent for their minor to be vaccinated through the digital sign-up process. Although a health insurance card is requested at sign up, health insurance is not required to participate in the free clinic.

The second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be administered at Westfield High School from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 16.

Czaporowski said this will be the second clinic at Westfield High School. Seventy-five people received vaccinations at the first clinic, and this one has the capacity to serve 140 people. “If it’s at all helpful, we’ll do another,” he said.

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