Massachusetts Medical Society: COVID-19 Vaccine Information

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots

The CDC now recommends that people aged 65 years and older, residents in long-term care settings, and people aged 50-64 years with underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 Vaccine at least 6 months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series.

People aged 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions, and those aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional setting, may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech at 6 months after completing their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series based on their individual risk and benefit.

Read the CDC's statement.

Individuals 16 years of age and older who live, work, or study in Massachusetts can get vaccinated. People 18+ can get any vaccine.

Massachusetts children ages 12 to 17 are currently eligible to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more at COVID-19 vaccinations for people under age 18.

The CDC currently recommends a third dose for certain groups of people with weakened immune systems who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Use the Massachusetts VaxFinder to search for a vaccination location and view appointment availability. Walk-ins are also being welcomed at many locations. The COVID-19 vaccine is free.

Key things know about the COVID-19 vaccines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) based on early data:

  • All of the COVID-19 vaccines show promise in reducing severity of disease 

  • It typically takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build protection (immunity) against the virus that causes COVID-19; you are not fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after the 2nd dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a one-dose vaccine

  • People who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic 

What we are still learning:

  • How well vaccines prevent you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others, even if you do not have symptoms

  • How long COVID-19 vaccines protect people

  • How effective the vaccines are against new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19

The Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Initiative works with the populations and communities hardest hit by COVID-19 to increase awareness and acceptance of the vaccine, access to vaccination locations, and vaccine administration rates. The approach is driven by community needs and is centered on equity, a core pillar of the state’s vaccine distribution plan, and is informed by the state’s  COVID-19 Health Equity Advisory Group and the Vaccine Advisory Group.

COVID-19 Vaccines, Safety, and Efficacy

Vaccine Information for Physician Practices

Talking To Your Patients About The Vaccine

A strong recommendation from their trusted physician or health care provider is a crucial factor in patients’ decisions about getting immunized.

  • Ariadne Labs COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence Toolkit: Best practices for having vaccination conversations, a step-by-step COVID-19 vaccine conversation guide, suggested language for responding to patient questions, and a patient-oriented COVID-19 vaccine handout that addresses the most common concerns about the vaccine.

  • Stop COVID-19 – Vaccine education and outreach materials: Educational materials for use by vaccine providers, community-based organizations, state and local government, and others to use in their public outreach and messaging efforts from the MA Department of Public Health

  • Talking to Patients about COVID-19 Vaccines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Educating Patients and The Public: Tools and research to inform clinician communication about COVID-19 vaccination with patients including multicultural communities, from the Infectious Disease Society of America (ISDA)

Information For Patients

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