EOEA Encourages Partners and Communities to Promote COVID-19 Booster Shots for Older Adults

Dec 16, 2021

In a letter to colleagues and partners, Executive Office of Elder Affairs Secretary Elizabeth Chen is encouraging communities and stakeholders to promote COVID-19 booster shots.

Most older adults in Massachusetts received their COVID-19 vaccinations in the first half of 2021. By now, almost 1.4 million adults aged 60 and above are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination booster.

“The evidence is clear, immune protection against severe COVID-19 illness wanes over time and a vaccine booster dose is the best defense against serious illness and complications associated with COVID-19 infection,” wrote Secretary Chen.

MHAC encourages the healthy aging network to reach out in your communities and urge older people and their loved ones to get a booster as soon as they become eligible.

  • Individuals who received their second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine 6 or more months ago, or the Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine 2 or more months ago, should schedule a booster appointment as soon as possible.
  • The CDC recommendations allow for mixing and matching of COVID-19 boosters, meaning individuals do not have to get the same formulation for their booster as their initial series.

Appointments are available, but they may not be at the closest retail pharmacy and the first available appointment may be at a location that is not offering the same brand as your first vaccination series.

  • Visit Vaxfinder for a full list of locations
  • High volume sites are available at Brockton, Danvers, Lowell, and Springfield
  • Local Boards of Health and community organizations have organized pop-up mobile clinics
  • Retail pharmacies are continuously working to add capacity

For individuals who are unable to use Vaxfinder, or have difficulty accessing the internet, the COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line can help schedule appointments by calling 2-1-1 and following the prompts for assistance (Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday 9AM-2PM). The COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line is available in English and Spanish and has translators available in approximately 100 additional languages.

For individuals who cannot reasonably leave their homes, call (833) 983-0485 to arrange for an in-home booster shot. The Commonwealth is providing COVID-19 in-home vaccinations. Callers will immediately be assessed for in-home vaccination need, registered, and scheduled. Appointments can generally be made within two weeks from the scheduling call.