Neighborhood’s Weekly COVID Positive Test Rate Increases to Over 6%: BPHC Recommends Second COVID Booster Vaccine

Last week the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) released its recommendations for residents to receive a second COVID booster vaccine as Back Bay’s weekly COVID positive test rate increases dramatically.

Last week, 1,119 Back Bay, Beacon Hill, North End, West End and Downtown residents were tested for the virus last week and 6.5 percent were positive–this was a 41 percent increase from the 4.6 percent that tested positive as reported by the BPHC on March 28.

Seventy three additional residents contracted the virus between March 28 and April 4 and there are now 9,472 confirmed cases in the neighborhood since the start of the pandemic.

Boston’s citywide weekly positive test rate also increased last week. According to the BPHC 13,847 residents were tested citywide last week and 4.6 percent were COVID positive–this was a 53 percent increase from the 3 percent that reportedly tested positive for the week ending on March 28.

The statistics released by the BPHC as part of its weekly COVID19 report breaks down the number of cases and infection rates in each neighborhood. It also breaks down the number of cases by age, gender and race.

Citywide positive cases of coronavirus increased 0.84 percent last week and went from 168,260 cases to 169,673 confirmed since the start of the pandemic. 

There were five additional deaths in Boston from the virus in the past week and the total number of COVID deaths is now at 1,444.

Last week, the BPHC announced it is recommending a second COVID-19 booster dose for residents aged 50 and older at least four months after their initial booster dose, as well as those over the age of 12 that are moderately to severely immunocompromised. The Commission’s recommendations are aligned with recommendations issued earlier last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). 

A second booster dose is recommended for these groups due to their increased risk of severe illness that can result in hospitalization and death. Boston and much of the Northeast has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases recently. At the same time, there have been declines in weekly vaccination rates and waning vaccine immunity. 

“Boosters are essential for preventing severe illness from COVID-19,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Commissioner of Public Health and Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “I urge all residents to stay up to date on their vaccinations by getting boosted as soon as possible, and to receive a second booster dose if eligible. Vaccine immunity wanes over time, and boosters are critical to maintaining a strong defense against COVID-19.”

COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, including second booster doses for those who are eligible, are available at vaccination clinics across the city. To find a vaccine or booster near you, visit boston.gov/covid19-vaccine or call the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050.

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