CVS, Walmart and Wegman’s pharmacies in town are offering COVID-19 vaccines. Additional locations can be found at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccination-locations. Some doctor's offices are also adminstering COVID-19 vaccines.
CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html. CDC does not recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this time.
FULL FDA APPROVAL OF PFIZER FOR 16+: August 23rd, the FDA fully approved Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine for individuals 16 and older. As the first FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccine, the public can be very confident that this vaccine meets the high standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality the FDA requires of an approved product, and health experts are encouraging all eligible individuals to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community from this serious illness. While we are seeing breakthrough cases, the vaccine is very effective at reducing transmission (unvaccinated individuals are ~30x more likely to get COVID than unvaccinated individuals according to the DPH call today) and vaccinated individuals are at much lower risk of hospitalization and death.
BOOSTER SHOTS FOR IMMUNOCOMPROMISED: On August 13th, the CDC issued a statement recommending that people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial 2 doses. The CDC defines moderately to severely immunocompromised individuals as those who have:
- Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
- Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response (including biologics such as Enbrel, Humira and Remicade)
Individuals should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them. For moderately to severely immunocompromised people, the third dose should be given at least 28 days after the completion of your initial mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series. You will need to attest that you qualify for the third dose of the vaccine, but a doctor’s note or order is not needed to receive it.
BOOSTER SHOTS FOR 12+: On August 18th, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a plan for administering booster shots. The goal is for people to start receiving a COVID-19 booster shot beginning in the fall (around September 20th), with individuals being eligible starting 8 months after they received their second dose of an mRNA vaccine (either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). This plan is subject to authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and recommendation by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The town’s COVID-19 Task Force and members of the MetroWest Regional Vaccination Collaborative are discussing plans for future clinics.