EASTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- COVID-19 case numbers continue to increase across the country, including in western Massachusetts. The city of Easthampton is reporting several new cases recently, so they’re ramping up their vaccine efforts by hosting a walk-up vaccine clinic next week.
“I think it’s not a coincidence that we’re seeing an uptick in cases across the state and in Easthampton just about two weeks after July 4,” said Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle.
Four breakthrough cases were reported this week, meaning these people were fully vaccinated.
The surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the Delta variant and vaccine hesitancy has now led to increasing rates of hospitalizations and deaths.
“I don’t think that that really means that the vaccines not working. It’s just, I think, some people are getting a little bit lax on getting tested, they’re getting symptoms, and they’re assuming there’s no way they could get COVID,” said Easthampton Health Director Bri Eichstaedt.
Easthampton leaders said the city’s vaccination rate is just around 65 percent. To ramp up their efforts, the city is hosting a vaccine clinic Monday, July 26 with hopes of more people getting the shot. LaChapelle told Western Mass News they’ll be offering both Johnson and Johnson and the Pfizer vaccines and they'll be back for second dose appointments.
“Every shot in an arm can save that person or somebody around them and we’re seeing reinvention of COVID-19 with folks who have been vaccinated and that’s really alarming,” LaChapelle noted.
The vaccine clinic Monday will be hosted in two locations:
- Easthampton Communnity Center, Clark Street - 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Big E’s parking lot, Union Street - 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Safety restrictions have been eased for months, which LaChapelle said could be why there’s an increase in cases and the possibility of reimplementing some of those restrictions is still up in the air.
“It’s really determined by COVID-19 and how seriously we take it,” LaChapelle explained.
She's reminding everyone about the importance of getting tested and staying safe.
“COVID is clearly still in charge. We need to be vigilant and these pop-up vax clinics on Monday, July 26 are super important,” LaChapelle said.
These vaccination clinics are open to anyone and you don’t have to be a resident of Easthampton to participate.