With summer over thoughts turn to school, work, and the colors and smells of fall—and of course it’s not fall in New England without the Big E.
As it does each year, the Big E will showcase everything the region’s largest agricultural fair should—farm animal competitions, exotic food offerings, live music, and for the first time, the Grange will be hosting education and vaccination efforts.
Hosted by the National Grange and supported locally by the New England State Grange chapters, updated seasonal vaccines will be available to the public at no charge.
The Grange promotes good health in rural communities. Vaccines are one of the best ways to protect ourselves, our families and the neighborhoods where we live, work and play. As we enter the typical cold and flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging the public to get the recommended vaccinations against COVID, flu and RSV for some adults—vaccines that protect against all three respiratory diseases will be available at the Big E.
Each one of these respiratory diseases is dangerous—especially for those who are most vulnerable—the very young, older adults and anyone with a compromised immune system. And while no vaccine is 100 percent effective, being vaccinated not only offers protection from the disease, but also serves to lessen symptoms should an individual become ill.
While many don’t realize it, the flu and other respiratory illnesses can have long term implications such as lung damage, loss of limbs and other medical complications.
And as we have seen in recent years, the combination of these diseases that typically hit around the same time can be overwhelming for our healthcare systems.
That’s why combining the region’s largest agricultural event with an opportunity to protect the individual and the community was a perfect opportunity for our organization.
We also realize that convenience is key in getting more New Englanders vaccinated. During the pandemic, the expansion of vaccines in pharmacies and other similar clinics was key to getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.
The Grange is in support of expanding pharmacy vaccine access policies in states—in New England and beyond.
If we want to truly harness the power of vaccination to protect public health, getting vaccinated needs to be easy and convenient—and in this case—tied to some fun!
The vaccine clinic will take place at the Grange’s Tent stationed outside the Grange Building and will be administered by licensed pharmacists from 10 am to 7 pm every day when the fair is open. Vaccines are free and no documentation is required, however attendees are encouraged to provide proof of insurance, Medicare or Medicaid cards. A free gift card will be presented to those who receive a vaccine.
So, get the family in the car, roll up your sleeves for one or more vaccines and then head out and take in all the Big E has to offer—knowing you’ve done the right thing for your health and safety.
Huber is the President of the National Grange.