COVID-19 Information

Visitor Policy:  Please read our current policy before visiting your friends/family.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Most people infected with the virus have mild to moderate respiratory illness. But anyone can get sick from COVID-19 and become seriously ill or die at any age. That's why it's important to get vaccinated. 

  • COVID-19 Vaccine
    Everybody 6 months and older can get a COVID-19 vaccine.

    What you need to know:

    • For people 65 and older. On February 28, 2024, the CDC recommended that people 65+ get an additional updated 2023-2024 COVID-19 vaccine. These doses are now available at the CHA Pharmacy (see information below).
    • People 5 years and older need just ONE shot this season to be up to date, even if you've never been vaccinated before!
    • Children under 5 will need two doses of Moderna or three doses of Pfizer to get full protection.

    Where to get a vaccine:

    • If you are a CHA Primary Care Patient: please make an appointment in MyChart, call your primary care center, or ask about the vaccine when you come in for an appointment. You can get your flu shot at the same time!
    • Go to a CHA Pharmacy: Open to the public for people 19 and older. Walk-ins welcome during normal business hours. Get your flu shot at the same time!
    • Find a local pharmacy near you or a community flu/COVID vaccine clinic coming this fall.

  • For Children Under 18 Getting Vaccinated

    > For children under 12. Please print a consent form and have it signed by a parent/guardian. Bring it to your visit.

    > For children under 15. Please come with an adult.

  • If You are Exposed to COVID-19

    The CDC has updated its COVID-19 guidelines, with new recommendations on when to wear a mask, quarantine and isolation (staying away from others), and testing.

    Click here for current CDC guidelines and what to do if you were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

  • Need A COVID-19 Test?

    CHA is no longer offering drive-thru testing. Please visit the state website for a list of testing locations.

    At-⁠home tests are now available at local retailers and pharmacies. If you have health insurance through an employer or Marketplace, your insurance may reimburse you for at-⁠home tests.  Learn more

    Patients who need a COVID-19 test before surgery should follow your pre-operation directions for testing.

Have Concerns About the Vaccine?

Having concerns about vaccines is understandable. The health care system should work for everyone, but it has historically failed people of color. CHA works to improve access for everyone. Please see a list of frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine below. If you have more questions, please ask your primary care provider.

COVID-19 Vaccine: Answering Your Questions
  • After Your Vaccine
    I had a severe or immediate allergic reaction to the first dose. Should I receive another dose?

    If you had a severe allergic reaction (e.g. anaphylaxis) to the first dose, you should not receive a second dose. If you had another immediate reaction (e.g. urticaria, stridor wheezing, angioedema within 4 hours), you should consult with an allergist-immunologist before receiving the second dose.

    I developed a rash about a week after my vaccine. Is that OK and can I still receive the second dose or a booster?

    Some people have gotten delayed reactions to the vaccine, like rashes or lymph node swelling. You may still receive another dose.

    I got vaccinated and then got COVID-19. Is it from the vaccine?

    It is not possible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine, because the vaccine does not contain the COVID-19 virus.

    I got a dose and then got COVID-19. Can I get the second dose or booster?

    You can receive the second dose or a booster as long as it has been 10 days since you developed symptoms or tested positive, meaning that you are safe to end isolation, and you are feeling better.

    I have symptoms of COVID-19 after the vaccine. Are these side effects or should I be tested?

    We recommend that people who develop symptoms of COVID-19 get tested, even if they have had the vaccine.

  • If you were Vaccinated Outside the United States

    I got vaccinated in another country. Can I restart the series?

    Per the CDC, it is CHA’s recommendation that patients who received a WHO-EUL COVID-19 (AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Novavax, or Bharat) vaccine do not need to be revaccinated and are considered fully vaccinated and do not need to restart the series per the CDC.

    Patients may choose to restart the series here if they would like, at least 28 days after their last dose. Patients who received a non-WHO-EUL COVID-19 vaccine (any vaccine other than the five above) and those authorized in the United States should be vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine, restarting the series.

    I got a dose of a non-FDA authorized vaccine (e.g. Sinovac, AstraZeneca) in another country. Can I get a second dose here?

    Per the CDC, it is CHA’s recommendation that patients who received one dose of a WHO-EUL COVID-19 vaccine (AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Novavx, or Bharat) and did not receive the second dose receive a second dose of either mRNA vaccine (Moderna, Pfizer) 28 days or as close to that as possible after their first dose.

    These patients may choose to restart the series here if they would like, a minimum of 28 days after their first dose. Patients who received a non-WHO-EUL COVID-19 vaccine should be vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine, restarting the series.

  • For People who are Immunocompromised

    According to the CDC, people are considered to be moderately or severely immunocompromised if they have:

    • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
    • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
    • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
    • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
    • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
    • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

    If you have any questions, please talk to your healthcare provider about your medical condition and the vaccine. 

  • How do I get my vaccination information or get a new CDC Vaccination Card?

    If you received your COVID-19 vaccination at a CHA facility, you can get an electronic copy of your vaccination information using the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website My Vax Records.

    When you go to the site, simply 1) Click the "Find my vaccine record" button and 2) Enter the information you gave when you got your vaccine. If the state finds a match, they will send you a link to a copy of your vaccination record. COVID-19 vaccine records may also be shared with a QR code through the website above.

    If you wish to only receive a CDC Vaccination card, you may request a copy of it using this form.

  • For Women who are Pregnant or Breastfeeding

    Please speak with your prenatal provider if you have concerns or questions about getting vaccinated.

    Should I get vaccinated if I’m pregnant?

    The “decision to vaccinate must be left to each patient in consult with their trusted clinician” according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). They are advocating the vaccine be made available to pregnant individuals who want to be vaccinated. Vaccines are common during pregnancy and considered part of good prenatal care.

    Initial research on the COVID-19 vaccines did not include enough pregnant women to give information about how it impacts pregnancy. None of the 18 people who were pregnant had complications. 

    Data shows that pregnant women with COVID-19 have higher rates of serious illness, including ICU admissions and the need for mechanical ventilation. Other diseases like obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes increase these risks. High risk groups are encouraged to get vaccinated to help them protect their health. 

    Do the vaccines cause miscarriages?

    There is no evidence that the vaccines cause miscarriages.

    When should I get vaccinated during my pregnancy?

    It’s best to speak with your provider and make a decision based on your risks of exposure to COVID-19 as well as risks of getting very sick if you do get the virus. 

    Can reactions to the vaccine harm my pregnancy?

    Some people experience soreness where they get the shot and others develop mild flu-like symptoms for a day or two. When your body has these kinds of responses, it’s a sign the vaccine is working. You are creating antibodies to the disease. Long term side effects are extremely rare from vaccines. There are much higher risks of negative long term effects from getting COVID-19 than getting vaccinated.

    Can the vaccine harm my newborn if I’m breastfeeding? 

    There is no information on the safety of the vaccine and breastfeeding. It is likely that COVID-19 antibodies that you create from the vaccine will get passed to your baby through your breastmilk, just like other antibodies. 

    Will the vaccine make me not be able to get pregnant?

    No, there is no evidence that the vaccines cause infertility.

    Should I get vaccinated if I’m planning on getting pregnant?

    Getting up to date on all of your vaccinations is a part of good prenatal planning. Having a pre-pregnancy visit with your provider is a good way to get the information you need to help your body be in great physical shape for a healthy pregnancy.


    Decision aids in pregnancy

  • COVID-19 Vaccines - Facts vs. Fiction

    Misinformation and conspiracy theories travel faster than facts, especially during a crisis. That is called an infodemic.

    Make sure you are getting your information from trusted sources. Avoid non-scientific publications and voices.

    Here are some facts about the COVID-19 vaccines:

    • The vaccine will teach your body create antibodies to prevent you from getting COVID-19.
    • The vaccine will not change your DNA.
    • There is nothing "bad" in the vaccines. There are no preservatives, metals, tracking devices or pig products.
    • The vaccines were developed to help everybody - people from across the world, of all ethnic backgrounds. 
    • The vaccines will not cause infertility.
    • Herbal remedies and teas cannot protect you from COVID-19 but the vaccines can.
    • People with asthma and allergies should get vaccinated.
    • People who do not have documents should get vaccinated. ICE/immigration will not be notified.

  • Videos in Multiple Languages

    Let's talk about the COVID-19 vaccines -- Soimise Verdieu, NP,

    Protect Everyone -- CHA Family Medicine provider, Tia Tucker, MD, MPH,

    Physician assistant Sonnly Ribourg, PA-C

    Multicultural Affairs specialist Jean Adam

    Español (Spanish)

    Maria Terra, APRN

    Preguntas y respuestas sobre vacunas con CHA Personal care assistant Marlene Rojas.

    Vídeos de intérpretes

    Kreyòl ayisyen (Haitian Creole)

    Soimise Verdieu, NP

    Enfòmasyon jeneral sou vaksen an (General vaccine information) --

    Prekosyon pa kapon --

    Physician assistant Sonnly Ribourg, PA-C

    Multicultural Affairs Specialist Jean Adam

    Vídeos de intérprete

    Português (Portuguese)

    Marcos Pienasola, PA

    Maria Terra, APRN

    Pieter Cohen, MD -- Por que tomar a vacina COVID-19 se ainda tenho que usar uma máscara e ficar longe das pessoas?

    Intérpretes Médicos

  • Vaccine Questions from our Patients and Communities
    Can Children get the Vaccine?

    Children 6 months and older can be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccines. 

    Is the Vaccine Safe?

    COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. The COVID-19 vaccines were evaluated in tens of thousands of people in clinical trials. The vaccines met FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality.

    Millions of people in the United States have received COVID-19 vaccine. Over 63 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine were given from December 2020 - February 21, 2021 with the most intense safety monitoring in U.S. history.

    For more details, please refer to the linked articles on the safety and efficacy of the vaccines: (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

    Can I get COVID-19 from the Vaccine?

    No, it is not possible to get infected with COVID-19 from these vaccines.

    Because no vaccine is 100% effective, it is still possible to get COVID-19 even after you are vaccinated. But the research shows people who get the vaccine can fight off the virus more effectively if they get infected. Getting vaccinated reduces your chance of needing to be hospitalized or even death.

    What are the Side Effects of the Vaccine?

    Vaccines can have side effects, which are usually mild. At this time, the side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine appear to be similar to those of other vaccines, including fever or other flu-like symptoms. 

    Some people experience soreness where they get the shot and others develop mild flu-like symptoms for a day or two. When your body has these kinds of responses, it’s a sign that the vaccine is working. You are creating antibodies to the disease. Long term side effects are extremely rare from vaccines. There are much greater health risks from getting COVID-19 than getting vaccinated.

    Are the Vaccines Safe for People of Color? 

    All the vaccine clinical trials included people of color in their research. For example, 10% of people in the Moderna clinical trial were Black and 20% were LatinX. In the Johnson & Johnson clinical trial almost 20% were Black and over 45% were Hispanic or LatinX. Data shows all vaccines are safe for these communities

    Since people of color are impacted at higher rates from COVID-19 than white people, we want to make sure everyone in these communities gets the COVID-19 vaccine. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and help your community address inequity. 

    Were the Vaccines Developed Quickly?

    The mRNA (Pfizer and Moderna) vaccines were developed more quickly than other vaccines, but there are reasons for this. First, technology had been in development for over a decade. Second, because of the pandemic, resources around the world were redirected to vaccine development, rather than focusing on other areas of research. We are lucky that the vaccine was able to be developed quickly, but no steps were skipped in the regular development and authorization processes.

    How can I Trust Information I Get About the Vaccines? 

    Check your sources. The best place to get vaccine information is from government websites like the MA Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control. You can also check credible publications that have scientific, peer reviewed research. The research results show that these vaccines are highly effective in protecting you from COVID-19 with at least one bivalent Covid 19 dose. There are a few exceptions (over the age of 65, immunocompromised, children 0 - 5 who did not complete their primary series).

    Will the Shots be Free? 

    The cost of a COVID-19 shot depends on your health insurance. We recommend you call your health insurance provider to confirm. 

    If I Already had COVID-19, do I Need to Get the Vaccine? 

    Yes. The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated regardless of whether they already had COVID-19. This is because we do not yet know how long you are protected from a second infection after you recover from the first.

    If I have Allergies, or an Underlying Medical Condition. Should I Get the Vaccine? 

    People with allergies or underlying medical conditions can get a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Vaccination is an important consideration for adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions because they are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

    I had Guillain-Barre. Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine? 

    There have been no cases of Guillain-Barre (GBS) reported after the COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC guidance is that people with a history of GBS can receive the vaccine.

    I had Bell’s Palsy. Can I get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

    There have been cases of Bell’s Palsy reported in the vaccine trials but the rates are so low that the FDA cannot conclude that they are even related to the COVID-19 vaccine, or just random. The CDC guidance is that people with a history of Bell’s palsy can receive the vaccine.

    I have had Facial Fillers. Can I get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

    Temporary swelling of areas surrounding facial or lip fillers have been reported with the Moderna vaccine. This has not been reported with the Pfizer vaccine. This was included in the FDA document about the Moderna vaccine. All three cases were mild and localized. This is not a reason to not get the vaccine.

    Why get vaccinated?

    If enough of the population gets vaccinated against COVID-19, herd immunity will be achieved. Herd immunity reduces the risk of spreading the disease as the majority of the population has already been exposed to the virus. Herd immunity allows us to get back to life without masks and social distancing.

  • If You Can't Get To a Vaccine Site

    Please tell your CHA provider. You may be able to get a free ride to a vaccine site. If you cannot leave your home, someone can come to you! Click here for information about the state's homebound vaccine program.

  • If You Are Covered by Medicare

    If you are covered by Medicare, please bring your CMS issued Medicare card to your appointment, regardless of whether you have a Medicare Advantage plan. CHA still bills CMS-Medicare for this service.

Why Get Vaccinated for Covid-19?

Still have some questions or concerns about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine? We understand there is a lot of hesitancy about the COVID-19 vaccines. With misinformation circulating and a history of discrimination, it is natural to question if getting vaccinated it right for you. Learn from our CHA Providers as to why getting vaccinated is important and listen to other patients who have similar concerns. Whether you are pregnant or breastfeeding, of a particular race, or just unsure of what to believe is true, watch the videos in this playlist to help you make the best decision for you.

Agnes Graves, MD

“I got the vaccine because as a physician, I consider it my duty and responsibility to do everything in my power to help end this pandemic. Too many people are suffering. I have lost many patients who were very dear to me. This has to end.”

Cristiane Salvino, Patient Access Rep.

“It was important to get the COVID-19 Vaccine because both my parents, especially my mom, are high risk. Now that a piece of hope has finally arrived, I couldn't miss the opportunity. I did it for my mom, my community and me!”

Rodney Durand, OR Technician

“I got vaccinated to give me peace of mind. After doing some research, I felt comfortable about getting it."

Galina Tan, MD

"I got my COVID vaccine because I want to do my part to get this pandemic under control, and so I can eventually travel to see my family again!"

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