Boston ElderINFO

Update: COVID-19 Vaccine

On March 29, 2021, the Commonwealth launched a homebound vaccination program to provide in-home vaccinations to individuals who cannot leave their homes, even with supports, to get to a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. Below, you will find highlights of the program:

In-home vaccinations will be available to homebound individuals who:

  • Have considerable difficulty and/or require significant support to leave the home for medical appointments
  • Require an ambulance or two-person assistance to leave the home
  • Are not able to leave home for medical appointments under normal circumstances.

HOMEBOUND VACCINATION PROGRAM – TEMPORARILY ON HOLD

In an abundance of caution, the CDC has temporarily paused the use of the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine; the same vaccine administered to homebound individuals. If you or someone you know requires an in-home vaccination, below is helpful information about the J&J vaccine and the status of the state’s Homebound Vaccination Program.

I have not been scheduled for a vaccine yet. Can I still be scheduled?

Yes. The Commonwealth is committed to the Homebound Vaccine program. We are still conducting intake for the homebound program but it may take longer for the Vaccine Provider to call and schedule you for an appointment date. Please expect to wait up to 7 days for the Vaccine Provider to call you. Thank you for your patience.

To register, homebound individuals or their loved ones can call 1-833-983-0485

I have an appointment for the J&J vaccine. Will I still be able to get it?

The Commonwealth remains committed to the homebound program. We will keep you up to date on the status of your appointment. If we need to cancel your appointment due to this situation, we will reschedule for another appointment as soon as possible.

I have an appointment for the J&J vaccine. Can I get a different vaccine?

You will be scheduled to be vaccinated with a safe and effective vaccine. We are awaiting further guidance from the federal government before resuming J&J vaccinations.

I have an appointment for the J&J vaccine. Can I reschedule to another date?

At this time, there is no need to reschedule your appointment. We will notify you if this current situation affects your appointment in any way. If we need to cancel your appointment, we will work to reschedule you for a vaccination as soon as possible.

Rest assured we are here to help you navigate the vaccination process and remain safe and healthy during this challenging time.

For more information or if you need assistance, contact Boston ElderINFO at 617-292-6211 to speak with an information specialist.

VACCINE ELIGIBILITY TIMELINE

MA residents are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine based on the following criteria and timeline:

  • March 22nd - Residents age 60+ and certain workers
  • April 5th - Residents age 55+ and those with one certain medical condition
  • April 19th - General public and those 16 years of age or older

PREREGISTRATION – NOW AVAILABLE!

The Commonwealth’s preregistration system enables you to request and schedule an appointment at one of seven (7) mass vaccination locations:

  • Gillette Stadium
  • Fenway Park (moving to Hynes Convention Center on March 27th)
  • Reggie Lewis Center
  • Danvers DoubleTree Hotel
  • Natick Mall
  • Eastfield Mall, Springfield
  • Former Circuit City, Dartmouth

More locations will be added to the preregistration process in April.

HOW TO PREREGISTER

You are encouraged to preregister (https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine ) for COVID-19 vaccinations and then you will be notified when an appointment becomes available.
Due to a limited federal supply of vaccines, it could take several weeks for you to be notified about available vaccination appointments.



When you preregister, you will be asked about your preferred method of communication whether that is by phone, text or email.

Once you sign up for preregistration: You will receive weekly status updates via your preferred method of communication by either text, email, or phone.

  • If you are 75 or older and would like someone to go with you, please call 2-1-1 to book an appointment for yourself and your companion.
  • If you choose to be contacted via text message or email, you will be sent a link to choose an appointment at one of the seven (7) mass vaccination locations.
  • If you prefer to be contacted by phone, you will receive a call with information about how to schedule your appointment from a representative of the state. Your caller ID will identify the Commonwealth of MA as the caller.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts will never ask you for your bank account number, password, or other financial information.

All notified individuals will have 24 hours from the time of notification to book an appointment. If you do not confirm or the day/time offered do not work for you, you you will go back onto the list to wait for another appointment.

Note: You can also visit www.vaxfinder.mass.gov to schedule an appointment at any of the other vaccination locations across the Commonwealth

COVID-19 VACCINE IMPORTANCE AND SAFETY

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe. They are approved and recommended by the FDA and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices following standard testing and approval processes. Vaccines undergo rigorous testing and large clinical trials with diverse participants before they are approved for widespread use. Vaccination is the best protection to reduce the risk of severe illness due to COVID-19. Getting vaccinated may also protect others around you who have not yet received the vaccine.
For more on vaccine safety, visit mass.gov/covidvaccinesafety.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are common questions people have asked about the COVID-19 vaccine. Click here for additional information.

May undocumented immigrants receive the vaccine free?

Yes. The vaccine itself is free for all Massachusetts residents. Health insurance (including Medicare and Medicaid) will cover the cost of administering the vaccine. For patients without health insurance, health care providers may request reimbursement from the federal government for the cost of administering vaccine to undocumented immigrants.

Can you still get the vaccine without an ID card?

Yes. You can get the COVID-19 vaccine even if you do not have insurance, a driver’s license or a Social Security number. For more information, visit How to prepare for your COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

Will getting the vaccine negatively affect a person’s immigration status?

No. The federal government has confirmed that it will not consider COVID-19 treatment (including a vaccine) as part of a determination of whether someone is a “public charge” or as it relates to the public benefit condition for certain individuals seeking an extension of stay or change of status, even if the vaccine is paid for by Medicaid or other federal funds.

Is a person’s vaccination record protected from disclosure?

The Department of Public Health will maintain an electronic record of each patient in Massachusetts who receives the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine database is kept confidential like a patient’s medical record with her doctor.

Will the COVID-19 vaccine be mandatory?

The Department of Public Health is not mandating the COVID-19 vaccine. It is a voluntary program. The COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be highly effective at preventing illness and it is an important tool in the fight against the pandemic.

Will I need to be tested for COVID-19 before getting the vaccine?

No, a COVID-19 test is not needed before getting the vaccine.

Why would a vaccine be needed if we can do other things, like social distancing and wearing masks, to prevent the virus that causes COVID-19 from spreading?

Stopping the COVID-19 pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like covering your mouth and nose with a mask and staying at least 6 feet away from others, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others. Together, COVID-19 vaccination and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19.