COVID-19 Vaccines & Boosters
Everyone 6 months and older is now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.
- Anyone who had their second injection of Pfizer or Moderna vaccines at least 6 months ago, or Johnson & Johnson at least 2 months ago is eligible to receive a booster.
- Request a COVID-19 vaccine or booster during any medical visit.
We have boosters available.
Frequently Asked Questions for Patients
What are the side-effects?
Most people who experienced side effects from the vaccines had mild symptoms such as a sore arm, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, and fever. Side effects usually go away after a day or two, and are a sign that your immune system is working and preparing itself to fight the coronavirus in case you are exposed to it.
As more people get the vaccine, there may be some very rare serious side effects (1 in a million.)
Many people have no side effects from the vaccine at all.
It is always important to balance the potential side effects of the vaccine with the risks of not getting the vaccine and maybe getting COVID. You can talk more with your medical provider about the risks and benefits for you.
Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine?
No. You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine. The vaccine doesn’t actually contain the virus that causes COVID-19.
Is the vaccine free?
Yes. The federal government has committed to providing the vaccine at no cost to all Americans who want it. In Massachusetts, insurance companies and providers have agreed to provide the vaccine without co-payments or other out-of-pocket fees.
How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
Both of the approved vaccines are new types of vaccines called mRNA vaccines. These vaccines contain mRNA “instructions” on how to make a small part of the coronavirus. They do not have any live coronavirus in them.
How many shots do I need?
There are currently three approved vaccines for use in the United States. Two of them require two shots (spaced either 3 or 4 weeks apart), and one of them requires only one shot.
Providers recommend booster shots after your initial vaccine(s). Patients should receive those boosters 6 months after their second Pfizer or Moderna dose, or 2 months after their Johnson & Johnson dose.
If I get the vaccine, what can I expect?
The majority of symptoms start the same day or next day after the vaccine. They last for one or two days. You may not want to plan on activities the day or two after you get the injection, or plan on activities you could do from home. Many people do not experience any side effects at all from the vaccine.
What about long-term effects?
We do not know the long-term effects of these vaccines. However, the technology used to create the COVID-19 vaccine has been used with cancer patients and has been studied since the 1990s, and there do not appear to be any long-term effects in those patients.
How did they make them so fast?
Just a year ago, this coronavirus was completely unknown. Now we have an effective vaccine for it that has been tested in thousands of people. This is very fast for vaccine development! Though the development of the vaccine was extremely quick, researchers have been working on using mRNA technology since the 1990s.
The FDA, which regulates vaccines, has made sure all of the usual steps for safety and monitoring have been done for the coronavirus vaccines. No study steps were cut out and the trials were as large as they usually are for this type of vaccine. In fact, these trials were larger than many other vaccine trials.