NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center doctors encourage community to get vaccinated

On Tuesday evening, March.2, NECC students Tanner Jordan and Silvia Urena Polanco hosted a COVID-19 Vaccine Forum alongside guest doctors Lydia Rex and Tuhin Roy from Greater Lawrence Family Health Center via Zoom to answer the community’s questions about the safety of the vaccine.

Students, faculty and the general public were given the opportunity beforehand and during the Zoom webinar to ask questions about the Modern and Pfizer vaccines as Massachusetts moves into phase two of its COVID-19 Vaccination Phases. The most common concern for the public? Allergic reactions.

“Should people with life-threatening allergies take the shot?” Many of the attendees asked, “What are the allergic reactions people have had to each vaccine made by Moderna and Pfizer?”

“Definitely still get your vaccine even if you have anaphylaxis to other unrelated allergies,” Dr. Rex answered, “With both vaccines there have been reports of anaphylaxis, but the chances are 1 in 11 million.”

Members of the community also had concerns over the side effects of the vaccines similar to the aforementioned reports of anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially fatal allergic reaction.

“Usually there is soreness in the site [of the vaccine]. Some people have reported fever and headache for up to 36 hours after the vaccine,” Said Dr. Roy, “Overall, the side effects are mild.”

Others inquired about the availability of the vaccine in the Lawrence-Haverhill area.

“Where and when are we able to get the vaccines?” one of the attendees asked.

“There are vaccines available to both patients and nonpatients at GLFHC, you can find more information on that on our website. There are also vaccines available (through) Lawrence General Hospital,” said Dr. Roy.

Despite all the concerns raised by the public, the doctors stood firmly behind the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines in the fight to stop the spread.

“Our mentality as of right now is the more people vaccinated the better,” Dr. Roy said.

You can visit GLFHC’s website to get more information on COVID-19 and to sign up for your vaccination. For more information about the Lawrence General Hospital clinic visit

For information about statewide sites, visit: