COVID 19 Vaccination Information
Pfizer COVID-19 Booster Availability
For Immediate Release September 24, 2021
Baker-Polito Administration Provides Update on Pfizer COVID-19 Booster Availability
Boosters are available for all residents over 65 and individuals 18 and over at high risk who have received the Pfizer vaccine
BOSTON - Today the Baker-Polito Administration announced how eligible Massachusetts residents initially can access Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots. In accordance with updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Pfizer COVID-19 Booster is now available to individuals 65 years of age and older, individuals 18 to 64 years of age at risk for severe COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions, and individuals 18 to 64 years of age who are at increased risk for COVID-19 because of occupational or institutional settings who have previously received the Pfizer vaccine. These residents are eligible to receive their Pfizer booster shot at least 6 months after their second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
Pfizer COVID-19 Booster shots are now available to:
- Individuals 65 years of age and older
- Individuals 18 to 64 years of age at risk for severe COVID-19 due to certain underlying medical conditions as defined by the CDC
- Individuals 18 to 64 years of age who are at increased risk for COVID-19 because of an occupational or institutional setting
View more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the CDC website.
"The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and getting vaccinated remains the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones," said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders. "The Baker-Polito Administration has been working with pharmacies, local boards of health, and other health care providers to ensure eligible residents will be able to access the Pfizer booster vaccines at hundreds of locations across the Commonwealth. If you have questions about whether getting the booster is right for you, we encourage you to contact your healthcare provider."
Massachusetts residents will be able to receive Pfizer COVID-19 booster doses from more than 460 locations, including over 450 retail pharmacies, with some appointments available now for booking. Additional appointments are expected to come online in the coming days. Additionally, the Administration is finalizing plans with other healthcare providers, including some Regional Collaboratives, local boards of health, and mobile providers for Massachusetts residents to receive their Pfizer COVID-19 booster; these sites are expected to open during October. The Administration has been engaging with these partners, including local boards of health, community health centers, and Regional Collaboratives, over the last several weeks to encourage their participation in the booster rollout.
Initially, approximately 600,000 residents are eligible for Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots under these federal eligibility criteria. The Commonwealth expects to have the capacity to administer over 300,000 Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots per week by mid-October.
Locating a Pfizer COVID-19 Booster
If you are eligible, here are the steps to find a convenient location for getting a Pfizer COVID-19 Booster:
- Visit the Valxfinder website for a full list of hundreds of locations to receive a booster. Residents will be able to narrow results to search for locations that are offering boosters, with some appointments available now for booking. Additional appointments are expected to come online in the coming days. Many locations will be booking out appointments weeks in advance.
- For individuals who are unable to use Vaxfinder, or have difficulty accessing the internet, the COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line, available Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 6 pm, Saturday and Sunday 9 am-2 pm by calling 2-1-1 and following the prompts is available for assistance. The COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line is available in English and Spanish and has translators available to in approximately 100 additional languages.
To protect the health and safety of all long-term care residents from COVID-19, all Massachusetts long-term care facilities, including the two Soldiers' Homes have been prioritized for Pfizer booster shots. The Department of Public Health has been working with long-term care facilities and their pharmacy partners to ensure residents and staff receive Pfizer COVID-19 booster doses onsite.
Vaccines are widely available across the Commonwealth. Getting vaccinated remains the most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves, their families, and their community. Fully vaccinated residents should receive a COVID-19 booster shot when they are eligible and as vaccines are authorized by the CDC.
The COVID-19 booster is safe, effective, and free. Individuals do not need an ID or health insurance to access a booster and do not need to show a vaccine card when getting a booster. Additional information on the COVID booster, including FAQs, can be found on the Massachusetts COVID-19 webpage.
Individuals can check if they are eligible for a booster using the eligibility tool at the Massachusetts Booster Check webpage.
As more information becomes available on booster vaccines for individuals who have received either the Moderna or Johnson and Johnson vaccine, the Administration will provide updated information.
Massachusetts leads the nation in vaccine administration, over 99% of the 65 and older population has received at least one dose. Over 4.6 million individuals are fully vaccinated, with almost 90% of all adults having at least one dose.
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Update
For Immediate Release: March 17, 2021
Baker-Polito Administration Announces Vaccine Timeline for All Residents, Provides Weekly Dose Updates & $24.7 Million in Federal Funding for Vaccine Equity Initiative
BOSTON - Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the timeline for all remaining residents to be eligible for a vaccine.
The Administration also announced the weekly distribution of vaccine doses statewide for providers and a new $24.7 million investment in the Administration's Vaccine Equity Initiative.
Vaccine Eligibility Timeline
Governor Baker today announced the dates that all remaining residents and certain worker groups will be eligible for a vaccine.
The Commonwealth's detailed timeline adheres to the original timeline for the three phases announced in December.
All residents can preregister to book an appointment at a mass vaccination site on the Massachusetts vaccination website.
Appointments will be offered based on eligibility and available appointments nearby. It is expected that more sites will come online as part of the preregistration process in April.
Timeline for remaining groups:
- March 22nd: Residents 60+ and certain workers
- April 5th: Residents 55+ and residents with one certain medical condition
- April 19th: General public ages 16 years of age and older
The full timeline is available on the Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccination Phases website.
The Administration has received assurances from the federal government that an increased vaccine supply will be available to states soon.
Depending on supply, it could take weeks for people to be notified that an appointment is available at a mass vaccination site.
The Administration provided the weekly update for doses allocated from the federal government.
This week, the state is receiving a modest increase in the supply of first doses, approximately 170,000. This includes an unexpected 8,000 doses of the J&J vaccine.
In total, the Commonwealth will receive 316,000 first and second doses as part of the state allocation. These figures do not include doses provided through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program or to Federally Qualified Health Centers.
This week, first doses and second dose state allocations (total doses), were distributed among providers as follows:
- Mass vaccination locations: 101,890
- Health systems and health care providers (excluding CHCs): 99,230
- Community Health Centers: 27,450
- Regional Collaboratives and Local Boards of Health: 59,580
- Regional Collaboratives: 40,370
- Local Boards of Health: 19,210
- Retail pharmacies (non-CVS)
- State allocation: 8,490
- Mobile Clinics supporting long-term care facilities, congregate care, affordable/low-income senior housing, and homebound individuals: 19,180
Weekly allocations are subject to change based on federal availability, demand from providers, and obligations to meet second doses. Providers have 10 days to use their doses and must meet specific performance thresholds.
In addition to the state allocation, the federal government distributes vaccines to CVS Health sites as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership as well as to certain Massachusetts federally qualified community health centers. These quantities fluctuate on a weekly basis and are not counted as part of the state's weekly allocation.
This week, 106,440 first and second doses have been allocated to the retail pharmacy program and 9,500 doses have been allocated to federally qualified health centers.
Individuals looking to book appointments across any of these providers should visit mass.gov/COVIDvaccine to learn more.
Vaccine Equity Initiative
The Administration also announced the release of $27.4 million in federal funds to increase trust, vaccine acceptance, and administration rates as part of the Administration's Vaccine Equity Initiative and to meet the needs of priority populations. Recognizing equity as a critical component of the state's vaccine distribution plan, the Department of Public Health (DPH) is working closely with 20 hardest-hit communities in Massachusetts as they identify their specific community needs, further building on existing support.
These federal funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) build upon current and past efforts supporting vaccination in these communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and include partnerships with municipalities, local boards of health, community- and faith-based organizations, community health centers, and others to reduce barriers to vaccination. These funds also will provide direct vaccine administration to populations that are not effectively reached through existing vaccine supply channels.
These federal funds include:
- $10.6 million to provide direct assistance with vaccine access, including appointment registration assistance, transportation to vaccination clinics, mobility assistance, medical interpretation, and other supports. These services will be delivered through contracted community-based organizations (CBOs), community health centers (CHCs), and behavioral health providers.
- $5.1 million to invest in community health centers through the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers to expand vaccination capacity at community health centers, including Community Health Worker Ambassadors.
- $4.7 million to support municipalities and local boards of health through direct funding of the 20 equity municipalities for coordination and support for vaccine clinics and acceptance.
- $4 million to help tailor community outreach and education through direct funding of local community-based and faith-based organizations in the 20 equity municipalities.
- $3 million for direct vaccine administration in community settings by funding qualified organizations to directly administer the vaccination to groups not effectively reached by other mechanisms.
These activities will build on Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) supported initiatives already in progress, such as outreach and collaboration with community and faith-based organizations, increased connections and investment in Community Health Centers, and grassroots neighborhood outreach by teams of trained staff and residents led by Archipelago Strategies Group (ASG), a minority-owned business, and Health Care For All (HCFA).
Other activities already underway include the DPH COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassador Program, which has assisted with dozens of local meetings to answer questions about vaccines, wide dissemination and amplification of the state's "Trust the Facts. Get the Vax." multilingual public awareness campaign, and the DPH Community Liaisons who are meeting weekly with representatives from the communities to identify and lift barriers to vaccine access and support community-based solutions.
The Administration's Vaccine Equity Initiative focuses on 20 cities and towns with the greatest COVID-19 case burden, taking into account social determinants of health and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). These communities are Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Randolph, Revere, Springfield, and Worcester.