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COVID-19 Vaccine News 

MASSACHUSETTS APPROVES COVID-19 BOOSTER VACCINATION FOR 18 YEARS AND OLDER

On Thursday, November 18, 2021, Governor Baker announced that effective immediately, all Massachusetts residents aged 18 and over are eligible to get a COVID-19 booster six months after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two months since receiving a Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine. Based on CDC recommendations, eligible individuals may “mix and match” COVID-19 vaccines. This means that, regardless of the COVID-19 vaccine a person received for their primary vaccine series, they can choose any brand of vaccine for their booster dose.

Given our near-term focus on influenza vaccination for our patient population and COVID-19 vaccination for our 5-11 year old patients, at this time Atrius Health will not be providing COVID-19 booster shots to patients ages 18 years and older.

However, more than 1,000 locations across the Commonwealth are providing COVID-19 booster vaccination. We encourage you to use the Massachusetts Vaccination Finder to search for appointments in your area. For individuals who are unable to use Vaxfinder or have difficulty accessing the internet, you can call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line (Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday 9AM-2PM) by dialing 2-1-1 and following the prompts for assistance. The COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line is available in English and Spanish and has translators available in approximately 100 additional languages.

COVID-19 VACCINATION FOR KIDS 5 TO 11 YEARS OLD

On November 2, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 years old, supporting the FDA’s emergency use authorization of this vaccine for this age group which it granted on October 29.

This will be a 2-dose vaccination series specially formulated for children, with 21 days between doses.

Atrius Health will start scheduling these vaccination appointments for children on November 12. Vaccination clinics will begin on Monday, November 15.

Beginning November 12, please schedule an appointment directly through MyHealth Online or call your child’s PCP’s office.

Vaccination clinics will be held at 14 practice locations, by-appointment only, primarily on weekday afternoons with one Saturday clinic offered at 5 practice locations.

Our capacity will be limited so you can also find appointments at other community vaccination locations. Use the Massachusetts Vaccination Finder to search for appointments in your area. For individuals who are unable to use Vaxfinder or have difficulty accessing the internet, you can call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line (Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday 9AM-2PM) by dialing 2-1-1 and following the prompts for assistance. The COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line is available in English and Spanish and has translators available in approximately 100 additional languages. 

CDC Recommends COVID-19 Vaccination for People Pregnant or Breastfeeding

On August 11, 2021, the CDC released the latest data on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people. They are recommending all people 12 years of age and older get vaccinated against COVID-19, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Society of Maternal Fetal Monitoring have also announced that vaccination is safe and effective for pregnant women and protects the baby after it is born. In recent weeks, the number of pregnant people infected and hospitalized with COVID-19 has been rising. The increased risk of severe illness and pregnancy complications related to COVID-19 infection among pregnant people make vaccination for this population more urgent than ever.

Atrius Health Employee Vaccine Mandate

Atrius Health recently announced that all employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 29, 2021, except for those who receive a religious or medical exemption. We believe vaccines are critical for decreasing the spread of the virus as well as preventing serious illness, hospitalizations and deaths. Protecting our patients, our staff and the health of our community is a core part of the Atrius Health mission and an obligation we take very seriously as a healthcare organization.