COVID-19 Vaccine Information and Resources

COVID-19 Vaccination Eligibility

The COVID-19 vaccine became eligible to individuals ages 12+.  “People age 12 and older who live, work, or study in Massachusetts can get vaccinated against COVID-19. People ages 12-17 can only get the Pfizer vaccine. People age 18 and older can get any vaccine. The vaccine is safe and effective. You don’t need an ID or insurance to get it”. See more on vaccine eligibility.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Here are helpful steps on how to get your vaccine. Additionally, use the VaxFinder webpage to find an appointment. Or try the Vaccine Chat. This chat feature aims to provide a space to ask questions about vaccine safety, eligibility, or appointments. The new automated Vaccine Chat probably will have an answer. Just type in what you are curious about and it will direct you to where you can find more information. Try it out for yourself on any vaccine-related page on Mass.gov.

Remember, even after you are fully vaccinated, we must continue to do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Wear a mask, wash you hands, and keep your distance.

Take a moment to read about some local Vaccine information:

  • Looking for a COVID-19 Vaccine in Holyoke?
    If you don’t have a COVID-vaccine appointment with Holyoke Health Center, but want one, you can check  www.HolyokeVax.com for openings.  Massachusetts COVID vaccination appointment information can be found here.  Also, there is a weekly COVID vaccination clinic at the Senior Center and is open to those who live and/or work in Holyoke.  Contact the Holyoke Senior Center at 413-322-5625 to book an appointment. You do not need to be a Senior to book an appointment.
  • Free Transportation to COVID Vaccination Sites
    Slated to begin in late May and through July 4th, Lyft will provide a “ride code” that will cover up to $15 of the cost of the trip to and returning from a vaccination site. Uber has previously indicated that they will offer up to 10 million free or discounted rides to and from vaccination sites.  The final details of their plan haven’t been released yet, but initially, Uber indicated they will provide up to 10 million free or discounted rides to and from vaccination sites.
  • COVID-19 Vaccinations for Ages 12 and Up
    The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will be available Thursday for those aged 12 to 15.  It is already approved for those who are 16 and over and individuals aged 12 and older will now have access to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, according to the US Food and Drug Administration. Pfizer completed a 2,260 subject clinical trial including individuals aged 12 to 15 and showed that the vaccine’s efficacy is 100% and is well tolerated.  The COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are authorized for use in people ages 18 and older.  Read more about this important action to help fight against the pandemic here.
  • COVID-Vaccine available in Holyoke for ages 12+
    This is a quick reference to some of the continued availability of the COVID-19 vaccine for adults, and some opportunities for individuals ages 12-17 to be vaccinated as well.  Below is a short list of vaccine providers in Holyoke and links to their appointment scheduling platforms.
    Some of these locations will allow you to choose between vaccines, if you have a preference.

Important Vaccine Info

 

Need-to-know details about the COVID-19 Vaccine

Covid vaccine need to know

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About the COVID-19 Pfizer Vaccine

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About the COVID-19 Moderna Vaccine

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What is the Massachusetts travel advisory?

Regarding travel, those families and HPS staff who plan to travel should work with the building nurse to plan ahead for return to the district.  Travel information can be found here and reach out to your school’s nurse for more information.

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How Long does it Take for the COVID Vaccine to Take Effect? AND What Safety Protocols should a Vaccinated Person still Follow to Prevent the Spread of COVID?

Individuals who have had one COVID vaccination of the two-part series are not fully protected from getting the virus. An individual is not considered fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine.  The CDC reports that the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine regimen prevented 90 percent of coronavirus infections two weeks after the second dose, which is when you are considered fully vaccinated.  The one-dose Johnson and Johnson COVID-vaccine was said to be 66.3% effective after two weeks.  Importantly, even if you do get infected after your vaccination, your case is likely to be asymptomatic or mild, like a common cold.  Each of these three COVID vaccinations are nearly 100% effective in preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

The COVID vaccine isn’t 100% effective and at this time it is thought that a person can still spread the virus after being vaccinated. Individuals should continue to follow recommendations provided by public health officials concerning the COVID-19 virus and use prevention strategies.  Even if an individual has received both vaccination shots, it is still very important to wear a face-covering in public, adults should maintain 6 feet of physical distancing away from others (children three feet or more while universally masked at school), practice good hand hygiene, and avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces in public places until we know more.

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What can we do to Stop-the-Spread?

 

It’s important for each of us to do our part to combat this virus.

  1. Check your own and your families’ symptoms daily using this convenient daily screening tool and remain home if you have symptoms.
  2. When awaiting COVID testing results, remain home until you know the outcome of your testing.  Do not attend work or school at this time. 
  3. Wear a Face-covering or Mask properly whenever outside of your household
  4. Stay at least 6 feet apart from others who do not live with you.
  5. Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. 
  6. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use 60% or greater alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  7.  Get vaccinated when it’s available to you. 

 

These actions can help protect you, those you care about, and the greater community.  It’s going to take the consistent efforts of everyone to stop the spread of the coronavirus.  

COVID-19 Daily Screening Tool for Staff and Students

HPS has created a tool to be used by staff and students each morning to identify signs and symptoms that may be related to  COVID-19.  These symptom guidelines incorporate recommendations from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  In considering symptoms, exposure, and travel, this tool provides guidance as to when in-person learners and staff should stay home and when they should go to school. It also provides a guideline for remote learners in terms of when they should contact their school nurse with symptoms or COVID-19 positive results.

Download and print the Daily COVID-19 Screening Tool (PDF).

COVID-19 Vaccine Informational Videos

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