COVID Vaccine Information

Important information about the COVID (coronavirus) vaccine:


Is the COVID Vaccine Available Yet?

In December 2020, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved two COVID vaccines (developed by Pfizer and Moderna) under its “Emergency Use Authorization” process. Massachusetts has received the first doses of COVID vaccine and will continue to receive more over time.

Who Can Get the COVID Vaccine?

Because there are so many people who need to be vaccinated, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and federal health authorities will help hospitals determine who can get the COVID vaccine first. Some groups will have priority access to the vaccine, like health care workers and people who are likely to get very sick if they have COVID (older people, people with certain medical conditions).  Currently, the vaccine is only approved for use in adults.

At this time, CHA does not anticipate having COVID vaccine for patients until spring 2021. However, we expect that this timeline will change. We will provide more information as soon as we can.

Some people may receive the vaccine outside of CHA, for example from their employer. If you are being offered the vaccine soon and have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We do not have a vaccine waitlist, so there is no need to call your CHA care center. We will be in touch as soon as we have updates about how to get the vaccine. 

You can get current information in multiple languages by calling our hotline 617-665-1987.

How will the Vaccination be Given?

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines (such as the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines) are given in two doses. It is injected with a needle into the upper arm, just like a flu shot.

Is the Vaccine Safe?

We believe that all vaccines approved for use will be safe and effective. While the vaccines being developed for COVID work slightly differently, they all train our immune system to recognize the disease. None of the RNA vaccines contain live virus, and it is not possible to get infected with COVID from these vaccines.

Vaccines can have side effects, which are usually mild. At this time, the side effects of the COVID vaccine appear to be similar to those of other vaccines, including fever or other flu-like symptoms. CHA, along with state and federal health authorities, will carefully monitor patients for any side effects of the COVID vaccine.

If you have Questions

We know people sometimes worry about vaccines, but we believe that the COVID vaccine is an important tool to help end the pandemic. We are here for you if you have any questions or concerns when the vaccine becomes available to patients.

You can also visit the following websites:

www.mass.gov/covidvaccine
CDC COVID-19 Vaccine page

Protect Your Health

For now, please continue to stay home as much as possible. In public, stay six feet away from others and wear a mask. And, of course, let us know how we can help.

Thank you for being a CHA patient.

--This message will be updated when more information is available--