Sept 24, 2021
CONTACT: Kate Reilly, Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Katelyn.Reilly@mass.gov
Baker-Polito Administration Provides Update on Pfizer COVID-19 Booster Availability
Boosters available for all residents over 65 and individuals 18 and over at high risk who have received the Pfizer vaccine
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 18-64 years of age at risk for severe COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions, and individuals 18-64 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 18-64 years of age at risk for severe COVID-19 due to certain underlying medical conditions as defined by the CDC.
- Individuals 18-64 years of age who are at increased risk for COVID-19 because of occupational or institutional settings.
To view more information from the CDC, please click here.
“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 health care providers, including some Regional Collaboratives and 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 capacity to administer over 300,000 Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots per week by mid-October.
- Visit the Vaxfinder tool at vaxfinder.mass.gov 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 appointments out weeks in advance.
- For individuals who are unable to use Vaxfinder, or have difficulty accessing the internet, the COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line (Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday 9AM-2PM) 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 at Mass.gov/COVID19booster.
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, with over 99% of the 65 and older population having received at least one dose. Over 4.6 million individuals are fully vaccinated, with almost 90% of all adults having at least one dose.