The Springfield Vax Force Committee provided credible COVID-19 resources to the citizens of Springfield using science, data, and information to guide decision-making and explain the vaccination process, in layman’s terms. The committee explained how the vaccine is effective and the best practices to use after being vaccinated. In addition, the Vax Force helped to debunk the myths about the vaccine and clarify rumors and misinformation. The Vax Force also helped examine the distrust of vaccines within marginalized groups within the community.
The Vax Force Committee is comprised of 17 committee members offering expertise in the areas of health clinician data and information, research, education, faith, and diversity, equity and inclusion. Mayor Domenic J. Sarno serves as the Committee Convener. Those serving on the Vax Force Committee are:
• Helen Caulton-Harris, HHS Commissioner and Committee Chairwoman
• Tom Ashe, Mayor’s Chief of Staff, City of Springfield
• Elsie Sanchez, Chair, Medical Reserve Corp.
• Kathleen Szegda, Ph.D., Public Health Institute of Western MA
• Jeffrey Scavron, M.D., Public Health Council; Brightwood Health Center
• Andrew Balder, M.D., Mason Square Health Center / HSH
• Jose Claudio, COO, New North Citizens Council
• Sarah McAdoo, M.D., UMass Population Health Capstone Director
• Denise Jordan, Executive Director, Springfield Housing Authority
• Jeanne Clancy, Public Health Council; Nursing Supervisory Springfield Public Schools
• Yemisi Oloruntola-Coates, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Baystate Health
• Melissa Mattison, Pharm.D., Department of Pharmacy Practice, Western New England University
• Wesley Days, Public Health Council; UMass Springfield
• Damaris Jones, Tapestry Health System
• Ashley Bogle, Esq., Health New England
• Cristina Torres, Ph.D., Caring Health Center
• Magdalene Eboso, RN, CIC Infection Prevention and Control Coordinator
The Vax Force Town Hall included remarks from Mayor Sarno and HHS Commissioner Caulton-Harris as well as an in-depth explanation on how the COVID-19 vaccine works from medical professionals. The committee’s discussion helped disseminate information in an effort to increase awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine and the importance of following all of the proper public health and safety guidelines. The Vax Force committee provided presentations during the Town Hall.