The Boston Public Health Commission plans to hold a free vaccination event Saturday in Boston where anyone who gets vaccinated will be eligible to receive a $75 gift card, regardless of age.
The event, pinned on returning students to classrooms and dubbed “B Healthy Back-to-School,” will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at White Stadium in Franklin Park. Health officials say they hope to encourage pediatric vaccination, support a safe school year and improve equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.
Attendees can also enjoy free food, music and games. Board members will also provide backpacks to students and families for the new school year.
Boston Public Health Commission Executive Director Dr. Bisola Ojikutu said vaccines are the best way to protect children from serious illness, complications and hospitalizations caused by the virus.
“We understand that parents may still have reservations about vaccinating their children, so this event gives them the opportunity to ask questions and get information from trusted healthcare professionals,” he said. she said in a statement.
The “bivalent” boosters from Pfizer and Moderna that were approved by the US Food and Drug Administration on September 1 will be available during the clinic. The boost provides protection against old strains of COVID-19 and newer variants of Omicron, the commission said.
Boosters are approved for use in people age 12 and older who have already completed a primary series of one of the approved vaccines and are two months away from their last primary or booster, according to the commission.
CIC Health President Rachel Wilson said the company was “excited” to partner with BPHC to vaccinate young Boston residents.
“This family-centric event aims to make it fun and easy for families in our community to learn about the vaccine, get vaccinated, and reduce the spread of COVID-19 among school-aged children, teachers, and staff returning to class,” Wilson said in a statement.
Boston health officials have said the community risk of COVID-19 is low in Boston and overall 74% of residents are fully immunized. But virus levels in sewage have increased by 76% in the past two weeks.
“The rate is now 650 COVID-19 RNA copies per ml, and this increase suggests that there may be a corresponding increase in cases and hospitalizations in the coming weeks,” the commission said.
According to the commission, 48% of Boston children ages 5-11 are fully immunized, including 74% of white children in that age group, 71% of AAPI children, 36% of Latinx children, and 30% of black children. . .