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Vast majority of eligible Amherst-Pelham students will meet vaccine deadline

A vaccine for COVID-19 being prepared.
A vaccine for COVID-19 being prepared.

The head of a western Massachusetts school district said the vast majority of eligible students will meet a Wednesday deadline to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

In September, the Amherst-Pelham Regional School Committee voted to add COVID-19 inoculations to the list of shots students need to have, and they set a December 1 date to get them.

Superintendent Michael Morris said compliance has been good.

"We do have some exemptions that we've gotten and accepted for religious or medical," he said. "But those are pretty few and far between. We're still working with some families to get them over the line, but we're well over 90%."

COVID-19 vaccinations are required in the district for students ages 16 and up.

Morris said the district is spending more time trying to meet a new state requirement that middle and high school students be vaccinated against meningitis.

He said his staff has been working with families and calling pediatricians' offices.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education and politics.
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