BOSTON – Thursday, December 9, 2021 – Today, Mayor Michelle Wu received her COVID-19 booster shot at the Boston Public Health Commission’s City Hall vaccine clinic, where more than 500 doses are available to be administered today. The clinic, which provided first, second, and booster doses is a part of a larger effort to increase the vaccination rates among eligible Boston residents.
On December 6, Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Executive Director of BPHC, announced the City’s four latest strategies to address the COVID-19 pandemic and prevent the spread of the Omicron variant. These strategies are: increasing access to vaccinations and boosters, expanding COVID-19 testing, enhancing public health communications, and doubling down on prevention.
“Getting boosted is one of the most important ways we can protect our families and communities,” said Mayor Wu. “Thanks to the hard work of our team at the Boston Public Health Commission and City Hall, I was able to join the hundreds of residents who have attended our free, walk-in clinics. Let’s all continue to take every action possible to end this pandemic.”
“As COVID-19 cases rise across the Commonwealth and nationally, we are currently in the setting of an anticipated winter surge,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission and Chair of the COVID-19 Advisory Committee. “To address this threat, the City of Boston is working diligently towards a city-wide response. A return to normalcy and a brighter future is within our reach but we must work together to keep Boston and Bostonians safe and healthy.”
The first of the four key strategies is increasing access to vaccinations, including booster shots. The City is expanding access to vaccines by supporting clinics throughout the city, including walk-in clinics in Dorchester, Mattapan, Roxbury, Hyde Park, and Roslindale. At these clinics, anyone can receive a booster, and people ages five and over can receive their first or second dose of vaccine.
Vaccines and boosters are also available at health care providers, pharmacies, and community centers across Boston. For more information about locations and availability, please visit boston.gov or call 3-1-1.
Schools will also be hosting clinics throughout December and January for BPS families. Locations and times for the clinics can be found on the Boston Public School website, here.
The second strategy aims to expand access to testing. The City has purchased and will be providing 20,000 free rapid antigen tests to communities with higher rates of COVID-19 and high barriers to purchasing test kits on their own. With the help of community partners, the test kits will be distributed before the holidays and distribution will prioritize speed, equity, and impact. The City is also working with resting partners to extend hours and expand molecular testing capacity.
Strategy three is increasing health communication. The City is redoubling its efforts to increase information about vaccines and boosters for all ages, especially ages 5-11. This work involves a partnership with the vaccine equity partners who are funded to lead community outreach. Additionally, the Boston Public Health Commission is partnering with other City agencies to increase communication with residents, and is translating and disseminating information about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters in over 10 languages.
The fourth strategy is amplifying efforts to prevent the spread of this disease. The City’s indoor mask mandate will remain in place applying to all indoor establishments that are open to the public. Residents are urged to get their flu shots to help strengthen their immune system and avoid serious illness. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, physical distancing, hand-washing, and proper ventilation remain critical for preventing the spread of COVID-19. In addition, please monitor yourself and your children for COVID-19 related symptoms, regardless of vaccine status. If you or your loved ones feel sick, stay home, isolate, and get tested.
For more information, call 311 or visit boston.gov/covid19
Contact: Press Office, 617-635-4461