SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Trained canvassers are making their way through western Massachusetts this week, encouraging residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We just want to be done with this pandemic and it’s better for me and for my family. I just want them safe,” said canvasser Shirly Osorio.
Groups of volunteers are walking door to door across the state and they're hitting neighborhoods in western Massachusetts. The goal is to hopefully get more residents vaccinated against COVID-19.
Osorio told Western Mass News her mother had a bad case of COVID-19. She was lucky enough to make a full recovery and now, Osorio has made it her mission to spread awareness on the virus.
“I don’t want nobody else to get that bad, so I just try and help people to get the vaccine,” Osorio added.
She told us she goes to about 85 houses a day. Most answer the door, some even told her now they will plan to get vaccinated.
“We'll be knocking around houses doors and people are excited about getting information about it, so we're doing good,” Osorio noted.
This initiative was brought on by the state’s Department of Public Health after finding out some residents were hesitant to get the shot. They're now providing resources to communities most effected by COVID-19 by answering questions like “When can I get the vaccine?", "How will I know it’s my turn to get vaccinated?" and "Is the vaccine safe?"
Brandon Bowser, field strategy manager for Archipelago Strategies Group, which is organizing these teams, told Western Mass News volunteers are eager to help.
“The answer was yes, let’s go out and educate our communities, let’s go door-to-door, let’s talk to the business owners, let's talk to the other community organizations,” Bowser explained.
He said there are four teams of volunteers - three in Springfield and one in Holyoke – that are out there getting people information about the both the virus and the vaccine.
These volunteers are trained in outreach with knowledge about both the virus and the vaccine and they're also HIPAA trained and certified. Another qualification they have is that they're multi-lingual, which is important when considering the best ways to get everyone information they need.
“Many clinics are moving towards a walk-in system, where you can walk up to a clinic, more information about that, but it’s never been easier to make an appointment,” Bowser said.