As always, talk with your health care provider about questions or concerns you have related to personal conditions or situations.
Where can I find a vaccine?
If you are over the age of 12 and live, work, or study in Massachusetts, you can get vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccine is free and you don’t need an ID or insurance to get the vaccine.
Update on a Third Dose of the Pfizer or Modern COVID-19 Vaccine
On August 13, 2021 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provided new recommendations for the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for moderately to severely immunocompromised people. The CDC now recommends a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for these individuals. If you meet these criteria, you are currently eligible for a third dose.
Why was an additional third dose recommended?
People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are more likely to become very sick if they get COVID-19. They may also have a longer illness and may not get the same protection from two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines as other people do. The available data suggests that they may receive more protection from a third dose of vaccine.
If you meet the current criteria check the CDC website for the latest information about receiving the third dose vaccine. Speak with your physician if you have additional questions. You can search vaccines.gov, visit Mass.gov to find a location near you to receive the dose. You can also check with your local retail pharmacy or text your zip code to 438829 or call 1-800-232-0233 to find a location.
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.
Learn more about the safety of the vaccines on the CDC website.
How many doses of the vaccine do I need?
It depends on your vaccine, 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 these vaccines has only been studied after two doses.
The Johnson and Johson’s Janssen vaccine is given to people in one dose. The effectiveness of this vaccine has only been studied after one dose.
Learn more about the different vaccines on the CDC website.
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.
Learn more about possible side effects on the CDC website.
Where can I learn more?
Here are four things you can do to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine:
- Talk with your health care provider about questions or concerns you have related to personal conditions or situations.
- View common questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and answers from our own Wellforce infectious disease experts (available in eight languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole, and Khmer).
- Check out the Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccine Information which is updated daily.
- Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Keep up your safety practices
You are helping to keep you and your loved ones safe when you stay 3-feet apart, wear your mask in crowds or where required, and clean your hands.