COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing

Trust the facts. Get the vax.

Everybody 6 months and older can now get a COVID vaccine in Massachusetts. 

CHA patients: You can get initial vaccines or boosters at your primary care center. Call your care center directly or visit MyChart.
General public: Please visit a CHA phamacy location or one of our community clinics. 

Please note: we are now offering the bivalent COVID-19 booster to children 6 months to 4 years old according to the schedule outlined by the CDC and FDA.

Get a COVID Vaccine

Primary Care:

CHA patients can get a COVID vaccine or booster during their in-person appointments. Just ask when you come in. 

CHA Pharmacy Locations:

Open to the public. Walk-ins welcome during normal business hours.

    • CHA Cambridge Hospital - 2nd floor main building
      •    Pfizer (ages 3+)
    • CHA East Cambridge Care Center
      •    Moderna (ages 3+)
    • CHA Malden Care Center - 1st floor
      •    Moderna (ages 3+)

Community Clinics: 
Open to the public. Pfizer only. Ages 5+. No ID required. 

Revere, 50 Walnut Avenue
Every Tuesday
3:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Register Now

*CHA pop-up clinics are supported by Tufts Health Plan

Public Health Department COVID-19 & Flu Vaccination Clinics:

The Cambridge Public Health Department will be offering free COVID-19 and flu vaccines to adults and children (age 5+) until June 14, 2023. Flu vaccines will be available for adults and children (age 6 months and older), while supplies last.

Appointments are required. Click here to register online. If you have questions or want help making an appointment, call 617-933-0797.

No ID, Social Security Number, or health insurance is needed for the free vaccines.

119 Windsor Street | Second Floor

Cambridge, MA 02139
Every Wednesday from 12-4PM
Register Now

Other Important Information

Need A COVID-19 Test?

Home tests are covered by insurance and are easy to find in local drug stores. If you don't have access to a home test, please schedule a COVID test on MyChart, or call your Care Center for an appointment. Patients who need a COVID test before surgery should follow your pre-operation directions for testing.

Gift cards for getting vaccinated

> To provide greater access to COVID-19 vaccines for underserved communities, CHA is participating in the Massachusetts Get Boosted incentive program. People who get a vaccine at a Get Boosted clinic get a $75 gift card until the program ends March 31, 2023. Only clinics listed on the Get Boosted website offer gift cards.

Please note that vaccine clinics at CHA hospitals and care centers are not part of the incentive program. Visit the Get Boosted website to register for clinics that provide gift cards.

For children under 18 getting vaccinated:

> Please print a consent form and have your parent/guardian sign it. Bring it to your appointment

> All children under age 15 must come with an adult

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.

If you are coming for your second dose or booster shot, please bring your vaccine card with you. You should have been given this card when you received your first dose.

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

Answering Your Questions
  • About Booster Shots and Third or Fourth Doses
    Who Should Get a Booster Shot or an Additional Dose and When To Get Them?

    Please visit the CDC website for the most current information on who should get a booster and under what circumstances. 

    If you are at high risk for severe COVID because of your health conditions, please talk to your provider about getting a third or fourth vaccine dose.

    After Your Booster Shot

    Read more in English, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Spanish

  • 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 (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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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

  • 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. Is it from the vaccine?

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

    I got a dose and then got COVID. 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 after the vaccine. Are these side effects or should I be tested?

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

  • COVID 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 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?

    Youth 5 and older can get vaccinated. COVID vaccine clinical trials focusing on younger children are underway. 

    How will the Vaccination be Given?

    COVID-19 mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are given in two doses. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is given in one dose. All the vaccines are injected with a needle into the upper arm, just like a flu shot. Booster shots are recommended, regardless of what vaccine you had originally. 

    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). For specific information from the CDC about the J&J vaccine, please click here

    Can I get COVID from the Vaccine?

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

    Because no vaccine is 100% effective, it is still possible to get COVID even after you are vaccinated. But the research shows that people who get the vaccine can fight off the virus more effectively if they get infected.

    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 vaccine appear to be similar to those of other vaccines, including fever or other flu-like symptoms. CHA, along with state and federal health authorities, will carefully monitor patients for any side effects of the COVID vaccine.

    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 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 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 after 2 doses.

    Will the Shots be Free? 

    The vaccine will be given at no cost to you. Your insurance company may be billed for covering the cost of giving it to you. 

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

    Yes. The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated regardless of whether they already had COVID. 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 vaccine as long as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID 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.

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

    There have been no cases of Guillain-Barre (GBS) reported after the COVID 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 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 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 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 the Vaccine if we can Just use Masks and Social Distancing?

    We need to use all tools available to stop this pandemic. Masks and social distancing work, but they are not perfect, and some people still get sick. Adding all of our resources together is what will stop the virus from spreading.

    How Long Will I Need to Wear a Mask?

    As long as COVID rates are high, we should continue wearing masks, especially in high risk settings - inside where there are a lot of people. If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing some of the activities you stopped doing because of the pandemic. Outdoor activities are the safest. Keep informed about what you can do safely from the CDC.

Note: the information provided on this page, or through linkages to other sites, is for education only. It is not a substitute for professional or medical care. You should not use this information in place of a visit, call, consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider.

Trusted Voices

Having concerns about vaccines is understandable. The health care system should work for everyone, but historically it has failed people of color because of racism. CHA continues to work to make sure everyone has equal access to health care and is treated the same.

Why Get Your Children Vaccinated?

Dr. Traci Brooks, Interim Chief of Pediatrics, shares important information about the vaccine and dispells many of the myths getting in the way of protecting our community. Getting rid of COVID starts with getting vaccinated.

Honest vaccine conversations

Find out why health equity is bigger than getting vaccinated and how the vaccine can help us get there. Listen to CHA providers and a CHA patient share their stories.

As a Black woman, Vanessa tells her vaccine story

It started by honoring our history and then having devastating personal experiences with COVID. Listen to how CHA director of government programming and control quality performance Vanessa Doleyres-Nazaire overcame her concerns about getting the COVID vaccine.

Watch another video of Vanessa overcoming the history of marginalization.

Overcoming our history

Worried about getting vaccinated while pregnant?

Family Medicine doctor, Julia Randall, MD, shares her experience about being pregnant and getting vaccinated.

Watch more videos by Dr. Randall:

Talking about the new variants
Risks of getting vaccinated when pregnant
Breastfeeding and the COVID vaccine
Making the choice to get vaccinated

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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