Covid Vaccine Update

We are lucky to live in Massachusetts. We lead the nation in vaccine uptake. More than 77% of MA residents over the age of 12 have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine, compared to the rest of the country at 66%. And vaccinations are now available to anyone over the age of 5 who wants one. The state and regional vaccine programs continue to offer mobile and pop-up clinics, as well as reaching out to residents who may be homebound. Pfizer vaccines for children ages 5-11 can be obtained through some pediatric providers, as well as some sites like Walgreens and CVS that will accommodate pediatric patients.

However, some communities are showing higher levels of infection, despite our terrific vaccination rates, so we clearly have more work to do. This trend is likely due to a multitude of factors including: increased travel and resumption of group activities. Non-severe breakthrough Covid infections have also been trending upward in vaccinated people recently.  Mask use indoors and vaccination against COVID-19 remains very effective in preventing severe illness and hospitalization from Covid, including the Delta variant.  This variant may be associated with more severe disease in unvaccinated patients. The data is very clear – people who are hospitalized with Covid-19 requiring ICU care are 99.9% unvaccinated people. Please consider getting vaccinated as soon as possible if you have not already done so.  Also, consider lessening exposure risk by wearing masks if you plan to be in crowded indoor spaces.

Who should get a booster? 

You should get a booster if you:  

  • Received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Everyone aged 18 years and older who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine should get a booster.  
  • Received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and are 50 years or older.  
  • Received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, are 18 years or older and live in a long term care setting

You may get a booster if you are 18 years and older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information about boosters here.  

When should I get a booster? 

  • For Pfizer or Moderna vaccines: 6 months after receiving the second dose  
  • For the Johnson & Johnson vaccine: 2 months after receiving a single dose of the vaccine. We strongly encourage those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to get a booster.  

Which vaccine should I get for my booster? Can I "mix and match"? 

Patients may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may want to get the vaccine they originally received. Others may prefer to get a different booster. The CDC's guidelines allow for this type of "mix and match" dosing for booster shots. 
 
Where can I get an appointment for a vaccine? 

Patients in Massachusetts can search on vaxfinder.mass.gov

Please visit COVID-19 Vaccine Finder to search for vaccination sites nearby by entering ZIP code, city, or town name. And if you are still unsure whether you should get vaccinated? Listen to our physicians explain why it's important

 

 

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