Boston public well being officers are urging residents to get their up to date COVID booster because the virus wastewater ranges are once more surging through the vacation season.
The native COVID wastewater information, which helps predict virus spikes and waves, has jumped since mid-November — and particularly within the week after Thanksgiving gatherings.
The south-of-Boston virus wastewater information has now elevated by a whopping 106% because the center of final month, and the north-of-Boston information has climbed by 128%. The south of the town seven-day common is now 1,029 viral copies per milliliter, in comparison with the north of the town degree of 893 viral copies per milliliter.
As this predictive wastewater information shoots up and with Boston’s up to date booster charge lagging, metropolis well being officers are encouraging folks to get their COVID booster and annual flu shot.
“Very similar to the unique vaccine collection, COVID-19 boosters are secure, efficient, and broadly accessible 7-days of the week at free clinics operated by the Metropolis of Boston,” mentioned Bisola Ojikutu, commissioner of Public Well being and government director of the Boston Public Well being Fee.
“Let’s prioritize staying wholesome this vacation season,” Ojikutu added. “Along with masking indoors, one of many best and handiest methods to do this is by getting a COVID-19 booster and an annual flu shot.”
Solely 11% of metropolis residents have obtained the brand new omicron-specific, bivalent booster. Along with low general uptake, there are racial disparities in bivalent booster charges: Solely 7% of Latinx and 9% of Black residents have obtained the bivalent booster, as in comparison with 11% of Asian American Pacific Islander residents and 13% of white residents.
In the meantime, COVID circumstances have elevated by 14% through the previous two weeks, and Boston additionally skilled a 24% improve in new COVID-related hospitalizations. A sudden inflow of COVID-related hospitalizations would put even better stress on hospitals and suppliers, the Boston Public Well being Fee warned.
The up to date boosters present the broadest degree of safety towards COVID, together with the omicron variant. An individual is eligible for the bivalent booster if it has been at the very least two months since they obtained their final vaccine dose. The booster is on the market for everybody ages 5 and older.
The Boston Public Well being Fee operates a number of free, walk-in clinics that provide COVID testing, vaccines, boosters, and flu pictures. No insurance coverage, no IDs, and no appointments are wanted at these websites: BCYF Hyde Park Group Middle; Bruce C. Bolling Constructing; Josephine Fiorentino Group Middle; and Lena Park Group Growth Company.
For extra details about the place to discover a COVID-19 vaccination or testing clinic close to you, go to www.boston.gov/covid19.