BOSTON - The Boston Public Health Commission is looking to encourage people to get vaccinated against COVID for the back-to-school season.
At White Stadium in Franklin Park on Saturday, the city will be giving $75 Visa gift cards to those who get a COVID vaccine or booster. The city will also be handing out backpacks to students and families, and there will be free food, music and games at the event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
"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," the commission said in a statement.
Less than half of Boston children aged 5-11 are fully vaccinated, and only 16.1% of kids aged 6 months to 4 years old have received one dose.
There are also signs that a rise in COVID cases could be coming as the season turns to fall.
"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 commission said. "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."
The new bivalent booster, which protects against the Omicron variant, will be available at the event for those 12 and older. Anyone under the age of 18 will need to have a guardian with them, or bring a signed consent form.
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