BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Boston Mayor Michelle Wu held a press conference from the Whittier Street Health Center in Roxbury on Saturday, where she discussed the city-wide indoor vaccination mandate that went into effect that same day.
"We all need a healthy and accessible healthcare system, and that is very much tied up in preventable instances of severe illness and hospitalization due to gaps in COVID-19 vaccination rates," Wu said.
The "B Together" policy mandated that residents age 12 and older must have proof of having at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for entry into businesses around Boston. Places requiring vaccinations such as restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or other indoor public spaces, began checking for vaccination cards, QR codes from My Vax Records, or printouts documenting residents' dose history.
But not all residents were content with the mandate, as protestors began to march down Park Drive and Boylston Street in the afternoon. Despite freezing temperatures, over about a thousand protestors gathered and walked along or in the middle of the street, blocking traffic in some areas.
"Today we took to the streets to let the City of Boston know that we support the city, we support our businesses- we say 'no' to mandates, 'no' to passports," said President of Boston First Responders United Shana Cottone. Cottone was suspended from her position as a Boston police officer because she refused to get vaccinated and follow the city employee's vaccine mandate which went into effect on Saturday as well. That mandate, while in effect, has had its potential disciplinary actions delayed by Mayor Wu until January 24.
According to City officials, more than 81 percent of Boston’s population have received at least one dose, as of January 11, while almost 70 percent are fully vaccinated.
WBZ Mike Macklin reports.