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New drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine clinic to open at GCC

  • Vials of at the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Staff File Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 4/19/2021 5:17:50 PM

GREENFIELD — A new centralized drive-thru COVID-19 vaccine clinic will open at Greenfield Community College, with the first ones being held Thursday and Friday.

The clinic, run by the Franklin Regional Council of Governments’ (FRCOG’s) Cooperative Public Health Service, will welcome everyone 18 years old and older.

The state opened eligibility to everyone 16 years old and older on Monday, but the drive-thru at GCC will administer the Moderna vaccine, which is not currently approved for those ages 16 and 17. Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for that age group.

The Franklin County Vaccine Collaborative Clinic schedule and instructions on how to register can be found on the FRCOG website at franklincountymavaccine.org. Check the site each Monday afternoon to see when the upcoming week’s clinics will open for public registration.

According to the most recent statistics from the state Department of Public Health, 45 percent of the people living in Franklin County have had their first shot and 30 percent are fully vaccinated.

“We are thrilled to see the numbers tick up each week, and we are excited to continue putting more shots in arms as eligibility is now open to everyone who’s able to receive a vaccine,” Xander Sylvain, a member of FRCOG’s emergency preparedness team, said in a press release.

According to the release, FRCOG’s clinics have administered more than 15,000 doses, with 67 percent of them going into the arms of Franklin County residents. Emergency Preparedness Program Manager Tracy Rogers previously explained FRCOG is closing its rotating satellite or “spoke” clinics in favor of the single larger site at GCC.

Rogers said the agency decided to move to a larger, more permanent site because it has cost between $600 to $1,000 to move equipment from clinic to clinic. She said closing the smaller clinics has nothing to do with how they have been running.

“They’ve done a great job,” she said.

Rogers said spoke clinics could return in the future, if the county starts receiving enough vaccines to run them.

Orange’s drive-thru clinic

Orange will continue to operate its own drive-thru clinic at Ralph C. Mahar Regional School indefinitely — it is a member of the Worcester County public health coalition because it works so closely with Athol in Worcester County.

A portion of the vaccines the state allocates to FRCOG each week will continue to be reserved by the agency for the Orange drive-thru clinic. The amount of vaccines and regularity of how often they are delivered are based on the most up-to-date data to ensure equity throughout the region.

Standby list

There is now a Franklin County Extra Dose Standby List. The list will be used to call individuals for doses left at the end of ongoing clinics. Once a vial is open — each contains 10 doses — it must be used within several hours. The standby list is deleted at the end of each week and a new one is started.

To find the list, information about upcoming clinics or to register for a vaccine, visit franklincountymavaccine.org. For more information on FRCOG’s clinics, call 413-774-3167, ext. 153.

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

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