Boston Public Health Commission Hosting Back-to-School COVID-19 Vaccination Event – Boston.gov

September 16, 2022
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New Omicron-specific boosters will be offered at family-friendly event 
BOSTON—September 14, 2022—This Saturday, the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) is hosting ‘B Healthy Back-to-School,’ a free COVID-19 vaccination event taking place at White Stadium from 11am to 3pm. This event is part of BPHC’s efforts to encourage pediatric vaccination, support a safe and healthy school year, and improve equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.
COVID-19 vaccines and boosters will be available for all attendees ages 6-months and older during the event. Those who get vaccinated are eligible to receive a $75 gift card, regardless of their age. Free food, music, and games will also be available at the event, and BPHC will be giving away backpacks to students and families for the new school year.  
With more residents spending time indoors for school and cooler temperatures approaching, increasing vaccination for COVID-19 and among our infants and children is a proven and effective strategy for supporting the health and safety of Boston’s students and families. Although Boston’s COVID-19 community risk is low according to the CDC, BPHC is closely monitoring Boston’s COVID-19 wastewater levels, which have increased by 76.4% over the past two weeks. The rate is now 650 COVID-19 RNA copies per mL and this increase suggests there may be a corresponding rise in cases and hospitalizations in the coming weeks (data through September 8). 
While the city’s overall vaccination rate is high (74.8% of residents are fully vaccinated), uptake among Boston infants and children under 12-years old is low and concerning racial inequities in vaccine uptake persist.
“COVID-19 vaccination is safe and effectively protects children from severe illness, complications, and hospitalization caused by COVID-19,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “We understand that parents may still have reservations about getting their children vaccinated, so this event offers them the opportunity to ask questions and get information from trusted health care professionals.” 
“We are delighted to be partnering with the BPHC to vaccinate the City of Boston’s young residents,” said Rachel Wilson, CIC Health President. “This family-centered event aims to make it fun and easy for families in our community to learn about the vaccine, get vaccinated, and decrease the spread of COVID-19 among school-age children, teachers, and staff returning to the classroom.” 
The new “bivalent” boosters for COVID-19 from Pfizer and Moderna, approved by the FDA on September 1 will be available during Saturday’s clinic. The new booster provides protection against the original COVID-19 strain and the newer Omicron variants. Currently, bivalent boosters are only approved for individuals 12 years and older, that have completed their primary series with one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines and it has been at least 2 months since their last primary or booster dose. Children ages 5-11 years old who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will continue to receive the existing, approved monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine booster dose. Regardless of age, the CDC recommends that everyone stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations by getting all primary series doses and boosters for their age group. 
The B Healthy Back-to-School vaccination event will take place on Saturday, September 17 from 11am to 3pm at White Stadium, 450 Walnut Ave, Boston MA 02130.  It is being hosted by the Boston Public Health Commission in partnership with the Boston Centers for Youth & Families, Boston Public Schools, First Ladies & Women Faith Based Leaders of Boston, the Black Boston COVID-19 Coalition, and CIC Health. For more information about the event, go to boston.gov/bphc-back-to-school.  
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Background: 
Pediatric vaccination and booster rates as of September 5:  

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