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Guide How to prepare for your COVID-19 vaccine appointment

How to make your COVID-19 vaccination appointment and get ready for it.

COVID-19 vaccines are now available for children ages 5-11 who live or go to school in Massachusetts. The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and free. Contact your child’s health care provider or search VaxFinder.mass.gov for vaccination appointments.

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Make your COVID-19 vaccine appointment

Preregistration has closed. Use VaxFinder.mass.gov to search for a vaccine appointment near you.

People without access to the internet or who are unable to schedule their appointment online can call toll free 2-1-1 or (877) 211-6277 for assistance.

If you need public transportation, use the MBTA trip planner.

What to know before you go

The COVID-19 vaccine is free

Important information to know before going to your appointment:

  • The vaccine is free. You will never be asked for a credit card number to make an appointment.
  • The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses. You should make sure you have a second appointment scheduled from the same site, or know how to schedule it, before leaving your first appointment. Johnson & Johnson/Janssen only requires one dose.
  • You can get a vaccine even if you do not have insurance, a driver’s license, or a Social Security number
  • Be prepared to wait 15 to 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine for observation.

What you need for your appointment

Additional documents

Your vaccination location may list the below items as necessary, however, that only applies to people who have them. You can still receive the COVID-19 vaccine without insurance or an ID.

  • Bring an ID with your name, if you have one, to verify your name in the vaccination system.
  • Bring your health insurance card, if you have one. Your insurance will be billed at no cost to you. You do not need to be insured to receive the vaccine.

During your appointment

  • If you arrive early, please wait in your car until your appointment time.
  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth.
  • You will get a vaccination card that tells you which COVID-19 vaccine you received, and when and where you received it. If you received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, the card will remind you to return for a second dose.
  • The vaccination site will tell you when to come back for your second appointment, if applicable.

Make sure you get both doses of Pfizer and Moderna

You need two doses of the same vaccine to be fully protected.

  • It's important that you get the same type of vaccine both times.
  • Go back to the same vaccination site to get the second dose.

Booster information

The CDC recommends a third dose for certain groups of people with weakened immune systems who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition, the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 booster is available to anyone ages 18 and older. You’re eligible for a booster if:

  • Pfizer & Moderna: It’s been at least 6 months since your second dose
  • Johnson & Johnson: It’s been at least 2 months since your first dose  

You can mix and match vaccines. You do not need to get the same vaccine brand for your booster as your original COVID-19 vaccination. 

Use VaxFinder to find a pharmacy or other location to get your booster.

Like the COVID-19 vaccines, boosters are free. You do not need to show your CDC vaccination card to get your booster. 

There are no ID or health insurance requirements to get a booster. If you do have an ID or health insurance, you should bring them to your appointment.

Learn more about boosters.

Questions?

Keep others safe

The COVID-19 vaccine — while showing extremely positive results — is like every other vaccine in that none is ever 100% effective. To keep people safe you must continue wearing a mask, washing your hands, keeping your distance, and avoiding groups.

It will take time to get the COVID-19 vaccine rolled out and get everyone vaccinated.

 

Read more: Guidance for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19

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