This information comes from a press release sent to me by Berkshire Healthcare Systems Lisa Gaudet, VP of Communications.

Since December 28, Berkshire Healthcare Systems (BHCS) has been facilitating successful vaccination clinics for residents and staff at their Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Centers across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in collaboration with CVS and Walgreens Pharmacies.

In Berkshire County, BHCS affiliate Kimball Farms Nursing Care Center in Lenox was the first long term care facility to conduct these clinics, quickly followed by Mt. Greylock Extended Care & Hillcrest Commons in Pittsfield, Fairview Commons in Great Barrington, and Williamstown Commons & North Adams Commons in North County.

The first round of vaccination clinics was completed by January 11 and the second and third rounds are well underway and are expected to be completed by late February. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention MMWR report published on February 1, 77.8 % of long term care facility residents and 37.5 % of staff across the nation were vaccinated as of January 18.

In Berkshire County, the average for Berkshire Healthcare long term care centers was well above the national averages at 82% for residents and 67% for staff, with some affiliates as high as 87% and 84% respectively for those clinics held within the same measurement period.

Bill Jones, President of Berkshire Healthcare commented,

“We are extremely grateful that we have been able to collaborate swiftly with DPH, CVS and Walgreens to offer these vaccination clinics at our affiliates. Our residents, staff and families have been through so much and we are inspired to see the number of individuals accepting the vaccination. We are proud of the tireless dedication and bravery that they have all displayed every day since the pandemic began and their continued efforts to go above and beyond fighting this battle. It is truly a unified effort.” Jones added, “We will persist in our commitment to educating staff, residents, and families on the importance of this critical protection measure to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep this virus out of our communities into the future.”

The results of the second and third vaccination clinics for BHCS affiliates show increasing acceptance rates moving the organization, and the region, closer to the desired herd immunity that is required to defeat COVID-19.

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While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.