Vaccination clinics coming to Amesbury High School this month

COURTESY PHOTO. Volunteers staff the check-in stations at Saturday's COVID-19 vaccination clinic in the Page School in West Newbury.

AMESBURY — Amesbury High School will be the home for all-day COVID-19 vaccination clinics for people 75 years and older each weekend for the rest of the month.

Amesbury is part of a nine-community Lower Merrimack Valley Regional Collaborative which includes Newburyport , Salisbury, Rowley, Newbury, West Newbury, Merrimac, Groveland and Georgetown.

The collaborative had held vaccination clinics in Amesbury and West Newbury in February. But Gov. Charlie Baker's directive that mass vaccination clinics will need to provide 750 doses a day, five days a week put a halt to the group's efforts late last month.

Elected leaders in the nine communities submitted an application to the state to continue with the vaccination efforts late last week.

Amesbury Fire Chief Ken Berkenbush and West Newbury Health Agent Paul Sevigny said in a press release Monday that the state has decided to allow the collaborative to continue to administer vaccinations during full-day weekend clinics at AHS for the rest of the month.

According to the release, the collaborative will receive 3,000 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and will begin its weekend vaccination clinics at Amesbury High School this Saturday and Sunday, March 13 and 14.

"The plan is to schedule this for Saturday and Sunday for people 75 and older,” Salisbury Health director Jack Morris said. "This will be a first dose clinic."

Amesbury Mayor Kassandra Gove said the press release that the nine communities in the collaborative have proven that they can run efficient and successful local vaccine clinics.

"I’m grateful that the state has recognized our efforts and will continue to provide the vaccine to us," Gove said. "Amesbury has been working with many of these communities closely since the start of the pandemic, and it feels right that we should be able to continue our collaboration and be able to provide the vaccine to our residents directly.”

In the press release, Newburyport Mayor Donna Holaday thanked Amesbury for taking the lead role in the regional vaccination clinic.

"Our community collaborative has worked very well in vaccinating our first responders and we look forward to receiving increased doses to continue this effort," Holaday said.

The collaborative also held a vaccination clinic at West Newbury's Dr. John C. Page School, which saw 346 people 75 and older, as well as first responders, receive a second dose of the Moderna vaccine, this past Saturday, March 6.

"We are extraordinarily grateful to Gov. Baker and the Department of Public Health for recognizing and rewarding a true example of both municipal government efficiency and the spirit of volunteerism," Berkenbush said in the press release.

Those eligible for a vaccination can visit mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine.

Seniors in the nine communities should contact their local council on aging for appointment assistance.

NUMBERS TO KNOW

Amesbury Council on Aging: 978-388-8138

Georgetown Council on Aging: 978-352-5726

Groveland Council on Aging: 978-372-1101

Merrimac Council on Aging: 978-346-9549

Newbury Council on Aging: 978-462-8114

Newburyport Council on Aging: 978-462-0430

Rowley Council on Aging: 978-948-7637

Salisbury Council on Aging: 978-462-2412

West Newbury Council on Aging: 978-363-1104

Staff writer Jim Sullivan covers Amesbury and Salisbury for The Daily News. He can be reached via email at jsullivan@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3145. Follow him on Twitter @ndnsully.

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