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'The Vaccine Is The Best Thing': With COVID Cases Rising, Hundreds Receive Shots At Clinics In Everett

EVERETT (CBS) -- Massachusetts is among the top states in the country when it comes to getting people fully vaccinated, but coronavirus numbers are starting to rise again.

Because of that, hundreds of people lined up at five vaccine clinics across Everett on Sunday to finally make the decision to get protected.

"The vaccine is the best thing," said pastor Jetro Caldeira.

Many of the clinics were at churches, home to some familiar faces.

"People are getting more afraid and more aware that the safest thing to do is to be vaccinated," said vaccine coordinator Susane Smiroldo.

The Cambridge Health Alliance has gone into the hardest-hit communities.

"This is moreso the later push to the fight," said Mahie Abdulla, a Cambridge Health Alliance intern.

More and more people are starting to feel now is the time to get vaccinated.

"With the variant, we had an increase of 176 percent in the cases in the last two weeks. That's the biggest alert to the community, saying, 'Guys, you have to be vaccinated in order to be safe,'" said Smiroldo.

Some in the community are overcoming their fears so that they can get the shot.

"Because I'm afraid. I'm afraid, that's why. Now, I'm comfortable because it's my church and my people," said Rudy Higa of Everett.

Others simply came to a realization.

"It is the right thing to do," said Josiene Fiegueredo of Everett.

One of the biggest hurdles, according to Abdulla, is that a lot of people don't have the correct information.

It is the same issue, Dr. Anthony Fauci says, would have made past illnesses much worse.

"We'd probably still have polio in this country if we had the same misinformation we've had now," said Fauci.

Though a day like Sunday is proof people can still make an informed decision.

"I think it's awesome that we reached a lot of people," said Irene Cardillo of Everett.

The new clinics that offered first doses of the vaccine in Everett are offering the same services for the second dose until August 8.

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