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

1st Booster
  • Everyone age 5 and older can get a 1st booster after they have had their primary vaccine series
2nd Booster
  • Anyone age 50 and older may get a 2nd booster at least 4 months after their 1st booster
  • Anyone age 18 and older with certain medical conditions may get a 2nd booster at least 4 months after their 1st booster
  • Anyone age 12 and older with certain medical conditions may get a 2nd booster at least 4 months after their 1st booster

 You can mix and match vaccines. Your booster does not need to be the same vaccine brand as your original COVID-19 vaccination. If you are ages 5-17, you can only get a Pfizer booster.

If you're NOT immunocompromised, you’re eligible for a booster if:

  • Moderna: It’s been at least 5 months since your 2nd dose
  • Pfizer: It's been at least 5 months since your 2nd dose
  • Johnson & Johnson: It’s been at least 2 months since your 1st dose  

Additionally, anyone age 18 and older who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine may get a 2nd booster of either Moderna or Pfizer at least 4 months after their 1st booster.

Anyone age 50 and older may get a 2nd booster at least 4 months after their 1st booster.

People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 and may need more doses of vaccine to protect them. Therefore, certain groups of people ages 12 and older with weakened immune systems should get an additional vaccine dose as part of their primary series, and also get 2 booster doses a bit sooner than other people.

Learn more about booster eligibility. 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.

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