Important Vaccine Info

March 14, 2021.   Here's some information to help you and your family plan and prepare for your Covid 19 Vaccinations...

How do I sign up for my vaccine?  Massachusetts has recently updated the online eligibility and enrollment page to allow eligible persons to pre-register.  Visit the  MA Gov Covd 19 Vaccination Site for more information.

How do the vaccines work?  Check out this brief video (developed by Nurse Practitioner Julie Chan)  How mRNA Vaccines Work and helpful info from the CDC Covid 19 Vaccine Info page.

What vaccines are available and what is their dosing schedule?  Currently, three manufacturers have emergency use authorization from the FDA for their vaccines.  The CDC has summarized details about each manufacturer's vaccine on separate pages as follows:  PfizerModerna, and Johnson & Johnson.  

What are some common questions and answers about the Covid 19 Vaccines?  Several common questions are addressed here.

How do I know if side effects from the vaccine are common or uncommon?  Many of you have asked questions about vaccine side effects and return to school or work.The following is from the MA Dept of Public Health Covid 19 Vaccine FAQ PageWhat should I do if I experience symptoms after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine? (Updated 3/5/21) Some people have side effects after being vaccinated (such as tiredness, headache, and pain at the injection site), which are normal signs that your body is building protection. These side effects may affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days. If you develop respiratory symptoms like runny nose, cough, or loss of sense of smell or taste, these are not side effects of the vaccine and you should consider getting tested for COVID-19 or talk to your healthcare provider. It is possible to get COVID-19 even after you get the vaccine. Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others.

Do I need to continue masking, distancing, sanitizing, and avoiding crowds? Yes!  Depending on the vaccine, it can take several weeks to build up immunity to Covid 19.  Also, the vaccines, while thoroughly tested in trials involving thousands of people, are available for Emergency Use Authorization.  In other words, the long term impact of the vaccines is not yet known.  With all of this in mind, the CDC has posted the following guidance for those who are fully vaccinated at this time:

  • Take precautions in public like wearing a well-fitted mask and physical distancing
  • Wear masks, practice physical distancing, and adhere to other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people who are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease or who have an unvaccinated household member who is at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
  • Wear masks, maintain physical distance, and practice other prevention measures when visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized in-person gatherings
  • Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms
  • Follow guidance issued by individual employers and communities