PITTSFIELD — Since Dec. 28, Berkshire Healthcare Systems (BHCS) has been facilitating successful vaccination clinics for residents and staff at its skilled-nursing and rehabilitation centers across 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 and Hillcrest Commons in Pittsfield, Fairview Commons in Great Barrington, Williamstown Commons, and North Adams Commons. The first round of vaccination clinics was completed by Jan. 11, and the second and third rounds are well under way and are expected to be completed by late February.
According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report published on Feb. 1, 77.8% of long-term-care facility residents and 37.5% of staff across the nation were vaccinated as of Jan. 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.
“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,” said Bill Jones, president of Berkshire Healthcare. “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. 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.”