Following updated recommendations from the federal government, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced that all residents aged 50 and older or individuals who are younger with certain medical conditions may now access a second COVID-19 booster. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday recommended that certain immunocompromised individuals and all individuals over the age of 50 get an additional booster dose of COVID-19 vaccines. The decision follows authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a second booster dose for these groups four months after receiving a first booster of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Those eligible include:
- Individuals 50 years of age and older at least 4 months after getting a first booster
- Individuals 18 and older with certain medical conditions may get a second Moderna booster at least 4 months after first booster
- Individuals 12 and older with certain medical conditions may get a second Pfizer booster at least 4 months after the first booster.
Separately and in addition, per the CDC, individuals 18 and older who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.
Residents may access booster doses from more than 1,000 locations, with appointments readily available for booking across the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth has capacity to administer over 150,000 boosters weekly across the state.
“Vaccines including boosters are the most effective and widely available tool we have to prevent COVID infection, severe disease, and death,’’ said Dr. Larry Madoff, Medical Director of DPH’s Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences. “It is important that everyone stay up to date on their vaccines. If residents have questions about whether they are eligible to get an additional booster dose, DPH encourages you to talk with your doctor.”
If you are eligible, here are the steps to find a convenient location for getting a second COVID-19 Booster:
- Visit the Vaxfinder tool at vaxfinder.mass.gov for a full list of hundreds of locations to receive a booster and to book an appointment.
- For individuals who are unable to use Vaxfinder, or have difficulty accessing the internet, the COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line (Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.) is available for assistance by calling 2-1-1 and following the prompts. This service is available in English and Spanish and has translators available in approximately 100 additional languages.
- Individuals with questions about the booster or their eligibility should contact their healthcare provider.
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 to increase their protection against COVID-19 and its variants.
The COVID-19 booster is safe, effective, and free. Additional information on the COVID-19 booster, including FAQs, can be found at mass.gov/COVID19booster.
Massachusetts leads the nation in vaccine administration, over 80% of the eligible population (5+) is fully vaccinated, and more than half are boosted. According to Bloomberg, the Commonwealth currently ranks 5th in the nation for percent of population with a booster dose.