The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) announced it is scaling back vaccination and testing site operations starting May 13, due to a sustained decline in site utilization and patient volumes.
Two sites, the Bruce C. Bolling located in Roxbury and Boston City Hall will remain in operation.
The following sites will cease operations on May 13:
· BCYF Hyde Park
· Josephine Fiorentino Community Center
· Lena Park Community Development Corporation
The Boston City Hall and the Bruce C. Bolling Building sites will continue to provide COVID-19 vaccinations, boosters, and take-home rapid antigen testing kits. The Bolling site will close temporarily on
Friday, May 12 and reopen on Thursday May 18 with new hours of operation – Thursdays through Saturdays from 12-6pm. City Hall’s hours of operation will remain the same.
The standing sites were established to improve access to lifesaving COVID-19 resources, particularly in areas of the city with high rates of COVID-19 and lower vaccination rates. The increased access to care helped close persistent disparities in the uptake of the COVID-19 vaccination primary series and fostered greater health equity at a particularly crucial time in Boston. BPHC distributed more than 6,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in 2022 due in large part to the accessibility of the standing sites.
Boston’s COVID-19 metrics continued to decline:
· New COVID-19 cases per day decreased by 22% over the past seven days, and by 38% over the past 14 days (data through April 28).
· Boston hospitals had a total of 49 new COVID-19 related hospitalizations this past week, which is a 6.2% decrease over the past seven days and a 42% decrease over the past 14 days (data through April 27).
· Boston is averaging 140 RNA copies/mL in its wastewater, which is a 68% decrease over the past 14 days (data through April 23).
· Seven out the 11 communities tested are below the citywide average (data through April 19).
BPHC also wants to highlight new guidance from the CDC and Massachusetts Department of Public Health on COVID-19 bivalent boosters for Boston residents:
· COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for everyone ages 6-months and older. Everyone 6 months and older should get at least one dose of a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine to be up to date, with different recommendations by age and vaccine series for children -new guidance from the CDC
· Individuals ages 65-years or older who have already received a COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccine are eligible to receive one additional bivalent booster dose at least 4 months following their initial bivalent dose.
· Individuals with moderate to severely immunocompromising conditions who have received a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine are eligible to receive one additional dose of a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 months following a dose of a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine.
Additional age-appropriate doses may be administered to immunocompromised individuals at the discretion of, and at intervals determined by their healthcare provider. Per CDC’s webpage at the time of this press release, “Information about the COVID-19 vaccination schedule for people who are moderately or severely immunocompromised will be available soon.”
· Adults and children ages 6-years and older are considered up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations if they have received one dose of a bivalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
Ahead of the scale down, BPHC encourages everyone to make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations, and for newly eligible individuals to get their second bivalent booster before the three standing sites shut down. All services are free with no prior appointments or identification necessary. There are rarely lines or long wait times at any of the standing sites.
“The sustained decline in our COVID-19 metrics is a testament to the protection afforded by the vaccines and boosters,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “Strong immunity against COVID-19 is vital for decreasing hospitalizations and severe illness. I encourage all individuals who are 65-years or older or who are moderately or severely immunocompromised to get the second bivalent booster as recommended.”
BPHC would like to extend its gratitude to CIC Health and LCG Boston for their partnership in operating these standing sites. Thanks to their collaboration, the City of Boston was able to break down barriers to care and ensure that our residents, particularly those from communities that were hit the hardest by COVID-19, had access to lifesaving resources. The standing site program is proof of how far public health and health care organizations can advance health equity when we break down silos and work together.
Free COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, and testing will still be available at all standing locations until May 13. Visit boston.gov/covid19-vaccine for more information.