After getting federal approval, booster shots of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccines are now available for some people in Massachusetts, officials said Friday.
More than 750,000 Massachusetts residents are now eligible to get booster shots after the update to federal eligibility criteria, Gov. Charlie Baker's office said. There are different rules for when people can the Moderna (and Pfizer) booster shot versus the initially single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot.
To book an appointment at one of the more than 460 locations where booster shots are available in Massachusetts, visit the VaxFinder website. Two new state-sponsored vaccination and booster clinics -- one in Brockton, another in Danvers -- are being stood up on Tuesday; walk-ins will be accepted at both locations.
More than 300,000 of the previously approved Pfizer booster shots have already been given out in Massachusetts, according to state data.
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The following people can get a Pfizer or Moderna booster shot, according to the state's announcement Friday:
- Individuals 65 years and older
- Individuals 18+ who live in long-term care settings
- Individuals 18+ who have underlying medical conditions
- Individuals 18+ who work or live in high-risk settings
And these people can get a booster shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the state said:
- All individuals 18 and older who received a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 months ago.
People in Massachusetts are also now able to choose which booster shot they want -- they no longer need to stick with the kind of vaccine they were initially given.
More Booster Shot News
Approval from federal health officials to mix and match coronavirus vaccines make the shots much easier to get in Massachusetts, Boston doctors say.
“Allowing people to get any vaccine makes this extremely convenient. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you got, what your clinic has, what your pharmacy has, all people can get all doses right now," said Dr. Mark Siedner, an infectious diseases clinician at Massachusetts General Hospital. "It just makes it easier for people to get additional doses at this point.”
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday extended COVID-19 boosters to Americans who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine and said anyone eligible for an extra dose can get a brand different from the one they received initially. It was approved Thursday by the CDC.
Tufts Medical Center's Dr. Shira Doron said the approval is "really important," since physicians have already been recommending the mix and match approach, during an episode of NBC10 Boston's weekly "COVID Q&A" series.
The decisions mark a big step toward expanding the U.S. booster campaign, which began with extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine last month, by making millions more Americans eligible.
New appointments for boosters were added to the CVS website Friday morning, which allows people to choose their preferred type of shot regardless of the type that was used in their initial vaccination series.