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As always, talk with your health care provider about questions or concerns you have related to personal conditions or situations.

Are the vaccines safe?

Yes, the vaccines are safe. The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) review of the vaccines was thorough and rigorous, and no steps were skipped in the process to review the safety of the vaccines. The FDA decided that the vaccine met safety and efficacy standards based on the currently available data from more than 43,000 diverse volunteers, and it was felt the benefits of the vaccine outweighed any side effects.

Can I pick the vaccine brand that I want when I come to your clinic or when I schedule my appointment?

All the vaccines are very effective. We will not be honoring any requests for a specific brand of vaccine.

If I cannot pick the brand of vaccine, I will go somewhere else.

We hope you won’t. Supply is very limited and it is important to get vaccinated. All the vaccines are very effective. Clinics throughout Massachusetts are providing people with the vaccine supply they have; there are no guarantees of any type of brand at any particular location. The research shows that all the vaccines are a strong defense against the coronavirus.

Are any of the vaccines “better” than others?

All three vaccines are very effective. It is not possible directly to compare the vaccine brands against each other because their clinical trials were conducted at different times, in different countries and when there were different variations. What is clear is that all the vaccines went through a rigorous clinical trial and regulatory review process. They were all authorized by the FDA. Most importantly, during clinical trials there were NO deaths or hospitalizations among those who received a vaccine.   

Do I need to receive both doses of the vaccine for it to be most effective?

The Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are given to people in two doses, Pfizer’s second dose is administered 21 days after the first dose and Moderna’s is administered 28 days after the first dose. The effectiveness of the vaccines has only been studied after two doses.

Can I get COVID-19 disease from the vaccine?

No. You cannot develop COVID-19 from the vaccine.

What do we know about side effects?

The most commonly reported side effects are soreness at the site of the injection as well as flu-like symptoms, including fatigue, body aches, chills or fevers after the vaccine. Side effects were most common after the second dose of the vaccine, and more likely to be experienced by younger people. These symptoms go away within the first few days after receiving the vaccine. The side effects tell us that the body is building protection against the virus.

Where can I learn more?

Here are four things you can do to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine:

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