Boston will give $75 gift cards to people getting vaccinated at back-to-school event

The “B Healthy Back-to-School” event will run Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at White Stadium.

A dose of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is prepared in April. Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Haven’t gotten around to scheduling your next booster or your kid’s COVID-19 vaccine? This weekend you can get vaccines to protect against the virus for free, and reap certain perks like a $75 gift card.

The Boston Public Health Commission is hosting “B Healthy Back-to-School” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at White Stadium in Franklin Park. Anyone who gets vaccinated is eligible for the gift card.

The commission is also giving out backpacks to students and families. 

Advertised as a “family fun day,” there will also be free food, music, face painting, and games, according to the city


Vaccines and boosters will be available for anyone over the age of 6 months. For those over 12 years of age who have already received the primary course of vaccination, the new bivalent boosters will be available. 

Children ages 5 to 11 who received the Pfizer vaccine will continue to receive the existing booster dosage, according to the city.

“COVID-19 vaccination is safe and effectively protects children from severe illness, complications, and hospitalization caused by COVID-19,” Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission, said in a statement. “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.” 

The event comes as Boston sees a 76.4% increase over the last two weeks in wastewater readings measuring the prevalence of COVID-19, according to data through Sept. 8. The city is warning the increase may lead to a corresponding rise in cases and hospitalizations in coming weeks. 

As of Sept. 5, vaccination rates among Boston infants and children under 12 are still low, with only 9.8% of children 6 months to 4 years old and only 48.7% of children ages 5 to 11 fully vaccinated. Overall, 74.9% of Boston’s total population is fully vaccinated, according to the city’s data from Sept. 8. 


“Concerning racial inequities in vaccine uptake persist,” the city says, with the percentage of children vaccinated sitting much lower for Latinx and Black children than for white children. 

The event at 450 Walnut Ave. is being hosted by a number of organizations, including the  Boston Centers for Youth & Families, Boston Public Schools, and CIC Health.

“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,” Rachel Wilson, CIC Health President, said in a statement.

Anyone under the age of 18 will need consent to be vaccinated from a guardian, either present at the event or in the form of a signed document.


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