Vaccinations Arrive to the Walpole Community


Greg Tsougas

A banner outside of the Walpole Police Department.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic’s beginning, scientists have been scrambling for ways to inoculate populations across the globe against the virus. Two notable Covid-19 vaccines have been released in the last few months from pharmaceutical company Pfizer and biotechnology company Moderna. Both vaccines are being distributed in mass amounts across the U.S. and primarily used to immunize healthcare workers and those 75 years or older. The vaccine has reached the Walpole community and some residents are looking forward to having their first dose. 

Governor Baker has created three phases for vaccine distribution. Phase 1 range lasted from December 2020 to February 2021 and vaccines were primarily distributed to healthcare workers caring for the sick in hospitals, nursing homes and other care facilities. Phase 2 will range from February 2021 to March 2021 and the majority of those inoculated will be individuals aged 75+, teachers, food pantry volunteers and more essential workers. Phase 3 will begin in April 2021 and the vaccine will be available to all members of the general population. 

Recently, the Walpole Police Health Department has notified residents of the COVID-19 vaccine clinic that will be held at the Walpole Council on Aging building on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Beginning the week of Feb. 8, individuals allowed to receive the vaccine during Phase 2 are able to get vaccinated there. 

This is not the first vaccine clinic to appear in Walpole. The Walpole Police Department and Fire Department created a vaccine clinic for first responders on Jan. 11. At the clinic, first responders working in the towns Canton, Dedham, Dover, Milton, Needham, Norwood, Walpole, Westwood, Wellesley and Medfield can receive a dose of the vaccine.

However, vaccine output has been relatively moderate in the Bay State. Baker urges residents to remain patient as more vaccines are transported to Massachusetts and new vaccination centers are created. 

“Everybody should understand that it may take several weeks in some cases to schedule an appointment,” Baker said. 

Reaction to the vaccine has varied across Walpole. Some individuals display no hesitancy in receiving the vaccine, while others, expressing doubts over its speedy release and approval by the FDA, are hesitant to receive a dose. 

“Why wouldn’t someone get the vaccine? It is a necessary step in achieving immunity and a normalized future. I wouldn’t hesitate having my first dose,” junior Kathryn Maclean said. 

Teachers in the Walpole Public School system will likely receive their first dose of the vaccine in late February to early March. However, a requirement for teachers to be fully vaccinated to teach at Walpole Public Schools does not exist at the moment.  Schools in the community will be able to consider fully in-person schedules once 80% of teachers are immunized.

“I have no reservations about getting the vaccine. Having a vaccine will make me a lot more comfortable at school approaching students to work one on one with them. Hopefully, if enough people are vaccinated, we can get back to a regular school schedule next year,” social studies teacher Gillian Hogan said. 

With higher vaccine distribution and more inoculations, normality is possible in the future.