Michelle Wu Announces Covid-19 Advisory Committee

Photo: Karyn Regal / WBZ

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) – Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has announced her Covid-19 Advisory Committee along with efforts to reduce racial disparities in virus testing and vaccine distribution across the city.

During a press conference on Monday, the Chair of the Committee, Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, said the city will provide 20,000 free rapid antigen home tests and free masks to communities with the highest infection rates.

The city will also hold higher capacity vaccine clinics, which will be held on December 11 and 18 as well as on two Saturdays in January. The first of these clinics will be held at Vine Street Community Center in Roxbury. This is all an effort to address a potential holiday surge, according to Wu.

“The first Omicron case has just been detected in Massachusetts and we are seeing an anticipated holiday surge in Covid cases,” Wu said. “We will continue monitoring the situation closely and follow the science at every turn.”

Read More: First Mass. Case Of COVID-19 Omicron Variant Has Been Detected

The committee is made up of doctors, public health professionals and multidisciplinary leaders who will help make decisions when tackling new variants and work towards ending the pandemic in the city. Ojikutu is confident that committee’s diverse makeup will help address these significant healthcare inequities.

“COVID-19 cases are surging here and across the country, making it a critically important time to get vaccines and boosters to as many people as possible, especially in communities where vaccine and booster rates are troublingly low,” Ojikutu said. “I am confident that Mayor Wu’s leadership and the insights of the Advisory Committee put us in a very strong position to end the COVID-19 pandemic in Boston.”

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Both Mayor Wu and the BPHC have made reducing these disparities a major priority. This comes as the city reports that only 13.4% of black residents and 9.4% of Latinx residents have gotten a booster shot. As of Monday afternoon, there were 88,990 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Boston.

“I’m grateful to these leaders for their willingness to serve the public in this pivotal moment,” Wu said. “We have both a responsibility and an opportunity to take on our biggest public health challenges, and take every action possible to protect our residents and end this pandemic.”

WBZ’s Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) has more:

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