“This is an incredible commitment on the part of Big Y stepping up in such a major way to make their pharmacists and resources available to our students, staff and families, helping us to ensure the safest possible environment for schools and our community,” said Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick. “We cannot overstate how grateful we are to Big Y and their significant support of our efforts to keep students and staff safe.”
Springfield Mayor and School Committee Chairman Domenic J. Sarno pointed out that Big Y has previously partnered with the City of Springfield to offer COVID vaccine clinics throughout the City.
“I want to thank Big Y President and CEO Charles D’Amour and his team for once again stepping up and partnering with our Springfield Public Schools and holding these vaccination clinics for our students, staff and families, said Sarno. “Superintendent Daniel Warwick, SPS Director of Nursing Jeanne Clancy, Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris and I are all grateful to our local Big Y for their continued efforts working with the City of Springfield to defeat this COVID-19 pandemic and making sure everyone has access to this life saving vaccine.”
Big Y President and CEO Charles L. D’Amour said the company has been serving communities for over 85 years and “is very excited for the opportunity to help keep schools safe and healthy."
“We are thrilled to partner with the Springfield Public Schools to offer convenient access to on site vaccinations for students and faculty,” said D’Amour. "Big Y continues to look for ways to serve our communities and this partnership offers students, faculty and staff access to desperately needed vaccines in a convenient location,” he said, adding that Big Y has provided drive-thru flu clinics, on site vaccine clinics for businesses, and mass vaccination clinics in East Longmeadow, Greenfield and Stafford Springs, CT.
For Springfield Public Schools, making vaccinations available on-site during the school day is a strategy designed to help increase the City’s below average vaccination rate, Warwick said. He added that the District sent vaccination and pool testing consent forms home with eligible students the first week of school and followed up with a robocall reminding all families that vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
While COVID-19 vaccinations are the driving force behind the initiative, Big-Y will also provide vaccinations for flu, MMR and Tdap at the school-based vaccination sites. The clinics will administer the FDA-approved Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Parental consent for any vaccine provided at the clinic is required for students under the age of 18.
While Central High School is the first school to host an on-site clinic, every SPS middle and high school will have an opportunity to offer on-site vaccinations in the coming weeks.