All individuals 6 months and older who live, work or study in Massachusetts are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. ID and insurance are not required. Visit the CDC’s website for a guideline of which vaccines individuals should receive according to their age.
All Massachusetts residents 5 years and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster. The FDA has authorized new (bivalent) versions of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to better protect against variants. The CDC recommends that all people 5 years and older receive this booster 2 months after completing their primary dose series or receiving their initial booster vaccination.
On December 9, 2022, the FDA also authorized the use of bivalent vaccines to include children between 6 months to 4 years of age.
The CDC also has vaccine recommendations for immunocompromised children 6 months and older and for adults. For a timeline of when and which vaccines immune compromised children and adults should receive, please refer to these guidelines. To find a vaccination site click here: https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/. Additional information on the COVID-19 vaccine can be found here.
Parents can book a vaccine appointment for their children at vaxfinder.mass.gov. Parents who prefer that their children receive the vaccine from their primary care provider should contact their provider’s office directly. State sponsored vaccine clinics offer low-sensory vaccination experiences for children with sensory issues or disabilities. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine for children and vaccination options in Massachusetts, click here.
To protect against the spread of COVID-19 and variants, the CDC continues to recommend getting vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible and that individuals 2 years or older wear well-fitting masks in indoor public settings where there is a high risk of transmission. The CDC’s full list of recommendations to protect yourself and others can be found on their website.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health continues to advise fully vaccinated individuals with weakened immune systems or who live with people with weakened immune systems or who are at risk of severe disease wear a mask or face covering when in indoor public spaces. All people in Massachusetts are still required to wear masks in certain locations, including healthcare facilities.
The mask mandate for airplanes and other forms of public transportation has been lifted. However, the CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Masks are no longer required to be worn on MBTA vehicles and properties, however customers using the RIDE must continue to mask up. MassPort, likewise, no longer requires masks in airports, Conley Terminal, and on the Logan Express service. You can read the full announcement here.
The CDC also launched a tool to help communities decide what precautions to take to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, based on local transmission rates and data. The COVID-19 Community Level tool can be accessed here.
The CDC updated its guidelines for what to do if you have been exposed to COVID-19. Visit their website to learn what to do if you have been exposed and when to isolate.
The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) announced their plans to phase out the state-run K-12 testing program in schools through fall of 2022. Schools will continue to have access to state provided self-tests for symptomatic testing throughout the summer. However, beginning in fall of 2022 the “state will no longer supply self-tests or other COVID testing services to schools and districts.” DESE’s full memorandum is available to read online.
The mask order for all Massachusetts K-12 public schools and licensed childcare providers was lifted on February 28th, 2022. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the Department of Early Education and Care first announced this change in policy on February 9th. Masking in schools is now a community choice across the Commonwealth, with school districts capable of establishing their own local requirements.
In February 2022, the CDC also lifted the mask mandate for K-12 transportation, announcing that people are no longer required to wear masks when riding in “buses or vans operated by public private school systems, including early care and education/child care programs.” The choice to require students to wear masks on school buses and other forms of transportation remains up to the discretion of local school systems.