On Monday, April 19, Massachusetts moves into vaccination Phase 3, open to anyone 16 or older. This includes faculty and staff who work at the college, regardless of your state of residence.
The process can be daunting because state and county programs are operating in parallel. Here are the steps you should take to get vaccinated:
- Make a vaccination appointment
- Use the Get Vaccinated Berkshires website to find and make appointments at one of the two nearby Berkshire County sites: St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church in North Adams or Berkshire Community College (BCC) in Pittsfield.
- You can search for and make appointments at other locations in the region and statewide via the state’s VaxFinder site.
- The state offers pre-registration for its mass vaccination sites only. If you pre-register you’ll be notified by text or other means of your choosing when appointments are available at those locations. The nearest mass site is in Springfield.
- Demand for slots will be high, especially early on in Phase 3. For tips on finding appointments, check out the “Appointment Technology” page of Get Vaccinated Berkshires and the Berkshire Eagle’s Vax FAQ page.
- Faculty and staff without personal transport can use the college’s vaccination shuttle form to reserve a ride
- Shuttles are available to St. Elizabeth’s and BCC sites only.
- They’re open to faculty and staff without personal transport and to all students enrolled in campus testing.
- Reservations are required and must be made at least 24 hours in advance.
- You must have a confirmed vaccination appointment to reserve a seat.
- Go to your appointment
- You may be given either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine—Berkshire county has supplies of both. Both require two doses, administered several weeks apart.
- Go back for your second shot
- After your first dose you’ll be informed of the appointment for your return visit. Repeat the same process, including reserving a shuttle seat again if appropriate.
- Monitor your health
- After the vaccine some people experience fatigue, fever, muscle soreness or other symptoms. In most cases these subside by themselves within a few days. Contact your healthcare provider if you have concerns or questions.
- Faculty and staff are not required to report vaccination status to the college at this time
Other things you should be aware of:
- Williams doesn’t have a supply of vaccine and is unable to administer vaccines or to make appointments for students, faculty or staff.
- It can be difficult to secure your second dose at a different location than your first, so only choose a site you can get to twice.
- With coronavirus variants present in our region, the college will for now continue to require that everyone, including people who are vaccinated, participate in our testing program to have access to campus and adhere to all public health requirements, including masking, social distancing and limits on gathering size.
It’s heartening that the vaccine program is making progress, and that officials are predicting ample supply for our needs. If you’re interested, you can use the state’s weekly vaccination dashboard to track the percentage of Berkshire County residents who’ve received one or both shots.
Thank you to everyone who’s doing your part to protect yourselves and our community as a whole!