Wednesday marked deadline for Amherst-Pelham students to get COVID-19 vaccines | News


AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — Wednesday was the deadline for all eligible students in the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District to get their COVID-19 vaccinations – a first in the state.

“I think it should be required for everyone, yeah definitely. We need to protect our kids, our teachers, and our community,” said Lucienne Hyson.

Today marked the deadline for eligible students in the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District to get their COVID-19 shots. The Amherst Board of Health approved a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for students in order to attend public schools back in September.

The town of Amherst has become the first in Massachusetts to require a COVID-19 vaccine for eligible students in order to go to school. When the district implemented the mandate, they had over an 80 percent vaccination rate across students and staff.

One parent told Western Mass News that everyone she knows is on board with the requirement.

“I actually don’t know anybody who is against it. It is a pretty, the community is pretty clear on what should happen. Yeah, kids should be vaccinated,” Hyson added.

Other residents agree with the decision.

“I think when it comes to public health issues, people have to think of the bigger issue and it’s sort of being selfish to say ‘I don’t need it’ or ‘I don’t want it,’” said Denise Spence.

In an effort to continue increasing the vaccination rate in western Massachusetts, the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst hosted a COVID-19 vaccine clinic specifically targeting kids ages 5 to 11 who are newly eligible for the shot.

“I think it’s just a service to the community…It’s a pediatric clinic so for kids 5 to 11 in collaboration with the state of Massachusetts and Cataldo Ambulance,” said Alexandra de Montrichard, manager of strategic initiatives at the museum.

They are even offering booster shots to adults.

“I also gather from clinicians that they will be offering booster shots or other vaccines to adults as well, so that’s another option,” de Montrichard noted.

A clinic to get your second dose will be at the museum on Wednesday, December 22 and booster shots will also be available for adults.

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