News & Events

Frequently Asked Questions about the COVID-19 Vaccine

11/02/2022
  1. What are the current recommendations for COVID-19 vaccination?
    It is recommended that everyone over the age of 6 months get a COVID-19 vaccine primary series. Individuals age 5 and above are also recommended to get a COVID-19 updated bivalent booster dose two months after the last dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

    For more information on COVID-19 vaccines go to CDC page here

  2. Are children eligible for COVID-19 updated bivalent boosters?
    Yes. It is recommended that children and teens ages 5 –17 years receive a bivalent booster dose.

    For more details on the COVID-19 vaccine schedule, go here

  3. Do I need to receive a COVID-19 vaccine if I have been previously infected with COVID-19?
    Yes. The CDC recommends that even people previously infected with COVID-19 be vaccinated. This is because the immunity from vaccination appears to be more reliable than the immunity from natural infection. It is safe to get the vaccine as soon as you feel better and are out of isolation from COVID-19 infection. But you can choose to delay your vaccination until 90 days after your infection, because you can be fairly confident your immunity from the infection will last that long.

  4. Do I need to receive an updated bivalent booster if I have been previously infected with COVID-19?
    Yes. The CDC recommends that even people previously infected with COVID-19 receive a bivalent booster. This is because the immunity from vaccination appears to be more reliable than the immunity from natural infection. It is safe to get the bivalent booster as soon as you feel better and are out of isolation from COVID-19 infection. But you can choose to delay your booster until 90 days after your infection, because you can be fairly confident your immunity from the infection will last that long.

  5. Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I am pregnant?
    Yes. 
    Pregnant individuals are at a higher risk of getting severe COVID-19. For this reason, the CDC, Society for Maternal- Fetal Medicine and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly recommend that pregnant individuals have access to COVID-19 vaccines. A conversation with your obstetrical doctor or nurse might help you make a decision. For more information, visit the CDC website here.

  6. Who is now eligible to receive an updated bivalent booster shot?
    Everyone age 5 and older 
    can get the new bivalent (updated) booster dose.
    For more information, go here

  7. Do I need a note from my doctor to get a bivalent booster?
    No.
     You do not need a doctor's note to receive a bivalent booster dose. You may be required to attest that you meet eligibility criteria to receive a booster.

  8. Do I need to bring my COVID-19 vaccine documentation when I get the bivalent booster shot?
    We encourage you to bring your original vaccine card or documentation, but it is not a requirement.

  9. Does my COVID-19 bivalent booster have to be the same brand as my initial series?
    For people, ages 6 years and older, the FDA and CDC allows for the use of a bivalent booster of a different brand than they received for their primary series.
     
    Children age 5 years old are only currently recommended to receive the bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech booster, and they can get this updated booster whether they received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna primary series. 

  10. Are the side effects similar for the bivalent booster dose?
    Yes. 
    Side effects reported after receiving the bivalent booster dose are similar to what people experienced after receiving all doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Pain at the injection site was the most commonly reported side effect. Most symptoms were mild to moderate and resolved within 3 days.

  11. Can I stop wearing masks and social distancing if I get a bivalent booster dose?
    While the bivalent booster dose of the vaccine may provide added protection, it is still recommended that you continue to follow state and local guidance as it relates to wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, hand hygiene, etc.

  12. Where else can I get the COVID-19 vaccine or bivalent booster dose if I cannot make it into Tufts Medical Center?
    You can check https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/ to find a vaccine clinic more convenient to you.