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Larger local COVID-19 vaccine clinics to close by end of May

  • Licensed Practical Nurse Nancy Hayes administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Ware resident Christina Sajdak at the John Zon Community Center in Greenfield. Sajdak’s husband Donald Sajdak (right) was also vaccinated. The clinic will close at the end of the day on Friday. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • People are vaccinated in their vehicles at the drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Greenfield Community College. The clinic’s last day will be May 25. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 5/12/2021 6:36:20 PM

GREENFIELD — The city’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic will close at the end of the day on Friday and the drive-thru clinic run by the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) at Greenfield Community College will follow on May 25, leaving doctors, health centers, hospitals and pharmacies to finish the job of vaccinating the rest of the county.

FRCOG Emergency Preparedness Program Manager Tracy Rogers explained the drive-thru clinic has had trouble filling appointments over the past week or so.

“We’re taking walk-ins at this point and will until we close,” Rogers said. “Deerfield will hold another clinic at Tree House Brewing Co., and Charlemont is working on a clinic for its fairgrounds in June. Then, we’re done.”

According to the Department of Public Health’s most recent data, released on May 6, 57 percent of Franklin County residents have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, while 39 percent are fully vaccinated.

Rogers said people looking to get vaccinated will still have options, including local pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens, as well as their doctors and health care providers.

Through its new Business Concierge Vaccine Program, the Community Health Center of Franklin County has set up a mobile clinic that will travel to workplaces to vaccinate people. For more information, call 413-325-8501.

“There are so many options now,” Rogers said. “Early on, it was just a few of us.”

For FRCOG, helping with the vaccine rollout has been an interesting process.

“We never planned as the FRCOG to have a response role,” she said. “We’ve never had a response role before. We’ve always been here to help others plan. We’ve worked with boards of health and they’ve done the work. But we’re glad we took on the role we did this time.”

Rogers said FRCOG now knows what it and its members are capable of, so there will be a lot of conversations going forward about what role it will play in different scenarios in the future.

“We’ll eventually come up with a plan,” she said.

Greenfield Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Robert Strahan said as the Greenfield vaccine clinic at the John Zon Community Center winds downs, he is reflecting on a job well done.

“It was a tremendous amount of work that took a lot of energy of a lot of people,” Strahan said. “It was truly a team effort.”

Strahan said the clinic will have administered 16,000 vaccines by the time it closes its doors on Pleasant Street.

“That’s no small feat for a small clinic like ours,” he said. “It’s all because of people’s dedication to keep the community safe, make it a safer place to live and work.”

Strahan said he hopes that doctors, health centers and pharmacies continue the work until everyone who wants to be is vaccinated.

“I hope that those who are hesitant to get the vaccine strongly reconsider,” he said. “It’s vital for us to work through this pandemic. As more and more people get vaccinated, we will get past this difficult year.”

The drive-thru clinic at GCC will hold second-dose clinics on Monday, May 17; Thursday, May 20; Friday, May 21; Saturday, May 22; and Tuesday, May 25.

Those who are homebound can have a vaccination be administered at their home. Residents of Montague should call the Montague Board of Health at 413-863-3200, ext. 205. Residents of Orange, New Salem and Wendell should call the Orange Board of Health at 978-544-1100, ext. 106.

Residents of the 15 FRCOG member towns — Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Hawley, Heath, Leyden, Monroe, Northfield, Rowe and Shelburne — should call Lisa White at 413-665-1400, ext. 114. All others should call the State Homebound Vaccination Program at 833-983-0485.

Also visit franklincountymavaccine.org or vaxfinder.ma.gov to view available vaccine appointments.

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-9591 or afritz@recorder.com.

Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
Fax: (413) 772-2906


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