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COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

Can I get a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine?

CDC recommends everyone stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines for their age group. It’s the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against serious illness.

All Massachusetts residents ages 5 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster after completing their primary COVID-19 vaccination series. Some people should receive two boosters.

You can use this CDC tool to determine when or if you or your child can get one or more COVID-19 boosters — Find out when you can get your booster.

For more answers to questions about boosters, visit

What is the updated bivalent Covid-19 booster? Should I get one?

The update COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer and Moderna are “bivalent.” Bivalent vaccines protect against two different viruses or two strains of the same virus.

Many common vaccines can protect against even more than two types of viruses or virus strains. The flu vaccine is an example. The updated COVID-19 boosters target the original COVID-19 strain and the newer omicron variant.

You can get an updated booster if you:

  1. Completed a primary vaccination series with one of the COVID-19 vaccines.
  2. At least 2 months have passed since the last dose of your primary vaccine series or any booster dose.

The bivalent boosters are only available for certain ages:

  • Pfizer bivalent COVID-19 booster: approved for patients ages 5 and older
  • Moderna bivalent COVID-19 booster: approved for patients ages 6 and older

Can children get the vaccine?

Yes, people ages 6 months and older who live, work, or study in Massachusetts can get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccine is safe and effective. You don’t need an ID or insurance to get it.

Information on vaccinating people ages 6 months – 4, please visit:

Information on vaccinating people ages 5-11, please visit:

Information on vaccinating people ages 12-17, please visit:

Why should I get my child vaccinated?

Children can get very sick from COVID-19 and spread it to others. You can help protect your family and slow the spread of COVID-19 in your community by getting your child vaccinated.

Vaccinating children ages can help keep them in school. Getting the vaccine can also help them safely participate in sports, playdates, and other group activities.

Like adults, your child may have some side effects after receiving a COVID vaccination. These are normal signs that their body is building protection.

Visit the CDC’s website for more information.

I am vaccinated so do I need to worry about the variants?

Vaccines continue to reduce your risk of contracting the virus that causes COVID-19, including the Omicron and Delta variants.

While the vaccines are highly effective against severe illness, some fully vaccinated people have had symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19.  When a fully vaccinated person has COVID-19, it is called a “breakthrough infection.”

Fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infections can spread the virus to others. 

Even if you are fully vaccinated, the CDC recommends everyone in areas of substantial or high transmission wear a mask in public indoor places. Please also continue to follow state and local guidance for wearing masks and social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Also, if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or may have been exposed to someone who tested positive for the virus, please get a COVID-19 test and follow medical advice to prevent the spread.

What should I say to someone who isn’t planning to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Here are some suggestions for talking with them:

1. Start by saying whether you’ve gotten the vaccine or are going to. Then ask them what they are planning to do. Use these tips to have a good conversation.

Tips for Talks – English

Dicas Para Conversas 

2. They will probably tell you about some questions and concerns. Here are some answers to the most common ones.

Common Vaccine Questions – English

Vacina Contra a COVID-19: Dicas Para Conversas

Vacuna COVID-19: Preguntas y  Preocupaciones Comunes 


3. Maybe they would like to hear what local doctors and nurses say about the pandemic and the vaccine. Watch this half-hour video together.

4. End by saying you are glad you talked. But don’t pressure them about their decision. Did you have a respectful conversation? Mission accomplished!

Should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and our community. 

Vaccines protect us from disease by teaching our immune system to recognize and fight the disease faster and better. You cannot get the disease from a vaccine.  But without a vaccine, you may get the disease.

Getting the shot helps stop the spread of coronavirus.  It may also be especially important for people because of their job or a health condition they have.

Getting the facts about the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to make an informed decision.

The CDC’s “Facts About COVID-19 Vaccines” has fact-based information about common questions people have about the vaccine.  You can select your preferred language at the top of the page.

Can I get sick with COVID-19 after getting the vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccines are effective. However, a small percentage of people who are fully vaccinated will still get COVID-19 if they are exposed to the virus that causes it. These are called “vaccine breakthrough cases.”

While people who have been vaccinated are much less likely to get sick, it will still happen in some cases. It’s also possible that some fully vaccinated people might have infections, but not have symptoms (asymptomatic infections). Experts continue to study how common these cases are.

After you have been vaccinated, please continue to follow local guidelines for wearing a face covering.  Hand washing, staying home if you are not feeling well, and wearing a mask in situations where you do not know if others around you are vaccinated are all ways you can protect yourself from COVID-19.

How much will the COVID-19 vaccine and booster cost?

The COVID-19 vaccine and boosters are free to everyone.  You do not need to pay, have ID, or have health insurance to get a vaccine or booster.

Can getting the COVID-19 vaccine affect my immigration status in any way?

No. Everyone should get the vaccine, including immigrants. Getting the vaccine will not affect your immigration status. You won’t be considered a public charge because of it. The law is that healthcare providers must keep patient information confidential.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

The safety of all COVID-19 vaccines is very important to everyone. The U.S. vaccine safety system ensures that all vaccines are as safe as possible. To learn more about the safety steps in place, click here to read information from the CDC.

Where can I get information about side effects?

After getting vaccinated, you may have some side effects.  These are normal signs that your body is building protection. The most common side effects are pain and swelling in the arm where you received the shot.

In addition, you may have fever, chills, tiredness, and headache. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. Learn more about what to expect after getting a COVID-19 vaccine from the CDC.

Where can I get information about bad reactions to the vaccine?

If you get a COVID-19 vaccine and you think you might be having a severe allergic reaction after leaving the vaccination site, seek immediate medical care by calling 9-1-1.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare severe allergic reactions from the CDC.

The CDC, FDA, and other federal partners are continuing to monitor the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines.  You can find information about adverse effects reported after COVID vaccination at

How do I get a copy of my vaccine record?

Please visit for more information.