At the final Lower Merrimack Valley Collaborative clinic,16-year-old Henry Walsh (middle) of West Newbury received a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, supported by his 12-year-old brother Sebastian (right). (Photo courtesy Lower Merrimack Valley Regional Collaborative)

NEWBURYPORT — The Lower Merrimack Valley Collaborative is pleased to share that after six months in operation, staff administered nearly 30,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines to area residents. 

The Lower Merrimack Valley Regional Collaborative began holding vaccine clinics in January. The last collaborative clinic took place on Thursday, June 10. A total of 29,630 doses of all three authorized vaccines, Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, were administered by the clinic staff. 

Over the course of six months, 720 individuals volunteered at the clinics, ranging from the ages of nine to over 80. Volunteers included more than 125 school staff and teachers, more than 40 local high school students and three therapy dogs. Six elementary and middle school-aged children also volunteered and helped to set up the clinics and give out name tags. In all, with 2,315 volunteer shifts, volunteers accrued approximately 12,150 volunteer hours.

The success of these clinics can be attributed to our army of municipal managers, fire chiefs, public health directors, nurses and volunteers from the community,” said Amesbury Fire Chief and Incident Commander Ken Berkenbush. “I would like to thank them all for their hard work and dedication over these past few months. We could not have done it without them.”

The following is a breakdown of doses administered by the nine towns of the Lower Merrimack Valley Regional Collaborative:

  • Amesbury- 5,037 doses
  • Newburyport- 4,319 doses
  • Salisbury- 2,114 doses
  • Merrimac- 1,643 doses
  • Newbury- 893 doses
  • West Newbury- 1,748 doses
  • Groveland- 999 doses
  • Georgetown- 744 doses
  • Rowley- 735 doses

The Lower Merrimack Valley Regional Collaborative has contributed to its member communities having among the highest vaccination rates in Massachusetts. In Amesbury, Georgetown, Groveland, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury and West Newbury, more than 91.5 percent of all residents over the age of 65 have now received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Overall, more than 65 percent of all residents age 12 and older in the nine communities have received at least one vaccination dose. The vaccination rate is even higher when those ages 12-15 are factored out, because that age group has been eligible for the vaccine for only a short amount of time.  

“While our operation has officially come to a close, we encourage members of the community who have not yet been vaccinated to do so, ” said West Newbury Health Agent Paul Sevigny. “Getting vaccinated is a simple step that individuals can take to help stop the spread of this virus. We are looking forward to a feeling of normalcy as more and more people get vaccinated.”

“Every time I volunteered it felt as though the process got smoother and more streamlined. The communication from shift supervisors, coordination of information online and the kindness at the clinics contributed to a wonderful environment,” said Volunteer Christine Beluk. “It has been such an honor to give back in this meaningful way. My sincerest thanks to the entire team who organized the logistics of these clinics. What a job well done.”

COVID-19 vaccines are free and available to anyone age 12 and older. Residents who wish to get vaccinated can register here.

The Lower Merrimack Valley Regional Collaborative comprises Amesbury, Georgetown, Groveland, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury, and West Newbury. 

JGPR is providing communications services to this effort on a pro bono basis.



After Nearly 30,000 COVID-19 Vaccine Doses, Lower Merrimack Valley Regional Collaborative Concludes Operations

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