The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Federal Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved booster shots of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for certain groups of people who got two doses of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago, including people who are:
- 65 years old or older
- 18-64 years old and at high risk of severe COVID-19 because of a medical condition. A list of eligible medical conditions can be found on the CDC website.
- 18-64 years old and at a high risk of being exposed to COVID-19 because of where they live (such as long-term care settings) or work. A list of types of work that make people eligible can be found on the CDC website.
If you have any questions about whether a booster shot is right for you, please talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.
If you’re eligible for a booster shot, you can now get your shot at the Center, at all BMC vaccination clinics, as well as other Massachusetts vaccine clinics and local pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens.
Booster shots at GRMDC and BMC clinics are by appointment only. You can schedule an appointment calling 617-323-4440.
Answers to common questions about what these new recommendations mean are below. If you have other questions, please call your provider.
Does the booster shot being recommended mean that I’m not protected against COVID-19 if I don’t get another dose?
No, two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are still very good at protecting you from COVID-19, especially severe cases, hospitalization, and death due to the virus. But for some people, the vaccine’s protection may decrease over time. A booster dose was recommended for these groups who may still be at higher risk of getting COVID-19.
What if I got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine? Can I still get a booster?
If you got the Moderna or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you cannot get a booster shot at this time. We expect that the CDC and FDA will look at booster shot data for these vaccines soon.
There is not enough evidence for people who got a Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine to get a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
Can I stop wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing if I get a booster dose?
Even after a booster dose, you should still follow all public health guidance to keep yourself and those around you as safe as possible. This means washing your hands often, avoiding crowds, and wearing a mask when you’re inside public areas. You should also follow all local guidelines about wearing masks, including the Boston indoor mask mandate.
I’m immunocompromised and already got a third vaccine dose. Should I get another booster?
No, if you’ve already gotten a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, you should not get another booster dose.
If you’re immunocompromised and haven’t gotten a third dose, please reach out to your provider.
Do I need a doctor’s note to get a booster dose?
No, you do not need a doctor’s note to get a booster dose. If you book an appointment at a BMC vaccination clinic, you will need to confirm that you’re eligible to get a booster dose. Our staff will also check that you got a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago.
Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu shot at the same time?
Yes, it’s okay to get any dose of your COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as your flu shot. BMC or any another location that gives both COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots can give you both at the same visit.