Public COVID-19 vaccination clinics in partnership with Whittier Street Health Center and BPHC to be held as part of First Night festivities
Mayor Michelle Wu joined City leadership to share the city’s preparations for First Night, Boston’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration, and announced a COVID-19 vaccine and booster clinic in partnership with Whittier St. Health Center as part of First Night. The mobile vaccination clinic will be held from 12:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Copley Square (near the Bostix booth) and will be open to all members of the public who are eligible, including children. Following that, BPHC will be providing vaccinations from 7:00 -11:00 p.m. in the Boston Public Library for people ages 12+.
The City is a partner of the New Year’s Eve event, which is formally run by Conventures, Inc. Both parties are taking steps to ensure public health and safety as Boston rings in the New Year.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, all indoor programming directly maintained by First Night has been moved outdoors this year. Per the City’s indoor masking mandate, masks will be required for indoor concerts at partner churches, and are recommended when in large crowds outdoors. It is also strongly recommended that attendees are vaccinated. The City asks that individuals do not attend any events if they are feeling unwell or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
“I’m overjoyed to bring back the beloved tradition of First Night and to offer Bostonians a chance to get vaccinated or boosted as we ring in 2022,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “We’ve shifted the celebration outdoors to put public health and safety at the forefront as we welcome the New Year. I’m grateful to all our city departments and partners working hard for all Bostonians and visitors to stay safe and healthy, and get vaccinated this holiday season.”
“We can more safely celebrate this new year together thanks to the careful planning and appropriate precautions that have been implemented, and we must continue to be vigilant,” said Dr. Bisola Ojikutu, Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. “I encourage everyone to help keep our communities safe by taking every precaution when planning their celebrations. That includes limiting indoor gatherings, maintaining physical distance, masking, staying home when ill, and getting vaccinated and boosted.”
“The Whittier Street Health Center is thrilled to support Mayor Wu’s efforts to increase access to COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters,” said Frederica Williams, President & CEO of Whittier Street Health Center. “COVID-19 vaccines are effective and can reduce the risk of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19, and prevent severe illness. As we make new year’s resolutions, we hope that COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, masking, social distancing and hand washing will be part of your new year’s goals to stay safe and healthy.”
The Boston Police Department will be present at First Night to support this family-friendly event. Additionally, Boston Police are reminding attendees not to consume alcohol, not to fly drones at any First Night activities, to dress accordingly for the weather, and to report any suspicious activity.
“The Boston Police Department, working with our public and private security partners, have come up with a comprehensive safety and security plan to ensure a secure family friendly environment for all participants, visitors and spectators alike,” said Boston Police Superintendent Gerard Bailey. “As we celebrate the start of the New Year, please take all the necessary precautions to keep yourself and others safe.”
Boston EMS will also be deploying additional personnel at dispatch operations and in ambulances on New Year’s Eve.
“However you choose to celebrate the New Year, please do so responsibly, looking out for your safety and the safety of those you are with,” said Boston EMS Chief Jim Hooley. “A number of the incidents we respond to on New Year’s Eve can be avoided. Be a good friend and help others make the right decisions, so they make it home at the end of the night too.”
First Night will include a family fireworks show over the Boston Common at 7:00 p.m. and fireworks over the Boston Harbor at midnight. The public is reminded that it is illegal for private citizens to use, possess, or sell fireworks, and that illegal fireworks pose significant dangers to the safety of residents and their property.
First Night festivities will impact traffic and parking in the Back Bay as well as on Boston’s waterfront. People coming into the City to celebrate are strongly encouraged not to drive. Details on parking and traffic restrictions can be found here.
First Night began in Boston 46 years ago and now first night celebrations take place all over the world. A full schedule of tomorrow’s events can be found at the First Night website here.
“We are thrilled to return this proud tradition to Boston’s residents and visitors,” said Dusty Rhodes, President of Conventures, Inc. “We’re fortunate to have great partners in the City of Boston to help us coordinate this event with safety and family fun as our highest priorities.”
“First Night is one of Boston’s most beloved traditions,” said Kate Davis, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Tourism, Sports, and Entertainment. “The City of Boston is proud to be a partner for this annual event, which brings together local businesses, cultural organizations, and performers, to provide free, family-friendly programming for residents and visitors alike. To safely ring in the new year, event attendees are urged to get vaccinated and boosted and follow the public health guidelines in place.”