Boston health officials plan to hold another mass vaccination clinic Saturday in Franklin Park, where attendees 18 and under who get vaccinated or boosted will have a chance to win a $75 gift card.
As COVID-19 cases edge up in the city and summer turns to fall, the Boston Public Health Commission is encouraging residents to stay up to date on their vaccinations. Commission executive director Dr. Bisola Ojikutu said there is a “critical need” to improve immunization for school-aged children in Boston.
“This event is another opportunity for us to remove barriers to care and bring COVID vaccines and boosters directly to our communities,” Ojikutu said in a statement. “I encourage everyone to protect themselves, their families and loved ones by getting vaccinated or getting vaccinated.”
Caregivers who accompany participants 18 and under and receive a vaccination or booster shot themselves are also eligible to receive a gift card while supplies last.
- Read more: Boston’s COVID cases up slightly: Here’s what officials recommend you do
The commission held a similar event earlier this month where more than 700 vaccines and booster doses were administered. This weekend’s vaccination clinic will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at White Stadium in Franklin Park and will include extended hours, increased staff, improved accommodations and designated lines for registered guests following the previous attendance.
The commission said vaccination rates for children aged six months to 4 years and 5 to 11 years “are still low” – 11% and 46%, respectively.
“There are also persistent racial inequities in the uptake of pediatric vaccines,” the commission said. “Mass vaccination events are one of the many ways BPHC is working to support greater accessibility to COVID-19 vaccinations to ensure an equitable recovery from the pandemic.”
The first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccination will be available for everyone six months and older. Booster doses will also be available, including a new version that offers “the broadest level of protection against COVID-19 and the Omicron variant”.
COVID measures in the city have “increased steadily” since the start of the school year, the commission said.
“Given the increased risk of transmission, BPHC urges residents to protect themselves by getting vaccinated or boosted as soon as possible to ensure strong immunity against COVID-19, instead of waiting for the holiday season,” a said the commission.
- Read more: Boston vaccination clinic offers $75 gift card to get vaccinated
Last week, health officials said cases in the city had risen 7% in the previous seven days and 24% in the previous 14 days. The data also showed that Boston’s community positivity rate hovered at 7.5% as of September 19.
State COVID data, now released weekly and last updated Sept. 22, showed 9,091 new cases, a seven-day average positivity rate of 7.4%, and 45 deaths.
“Don’t wait for cases to increase further or when you plan to spend more time indoors with your family to get up to date on your vaccines,” Bisola said in a statement last week. “As we head into the fall, there is a risk of serious illness, but we have the tools to protect ourselves – COVID vaccines, bivalent boosters, flu shots and wearing masks in crowded indoor environments. It’s important to act now to stay safe through the fall and winter.