COVID-19 Phase 2 Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know the COVID-19 vaccine is safe?
Vaccines are safe and are one of the best ways to protect yourself and those around you from getting sick from COVID-19. The vaccine doesn’t contain the virus that causes COVID-19, so it can’t make you sick. You may experience mild side effects after getting the vaccine, but this is a sign that your body is learning how to protect you. The COVID-19 vaccine was developed quickly but all of the same safety steps were followed for this vaccine that are used for all vaccines.
Massachusetts has launched a campaign to raise awareness about the safety of the vaccine. Learn more at Trust the Facts. Get the Vax.
Learn more about vaccine safety monitoring systems here.
How do I know if I am eligible?
Visit www.mass.gov/COVIDVaccine to see when you will be eligible.
What do I need to do to prove I am eligible because of my medical conditions?
You will not need copies of medical records or a note from your doctor or health care provider to confirm you are eligible. Please complete the State’s attestation form to indicate that you are eligible under the comorbidities group.
How long will it take to move to the next eligibility group or the next phase?
Massachusetts has developed a three-phase vaccination distribution plan that reflects several priorities: protecting the most vulnerable, maintaining health care system capacity, and addressing inequities in health care access and COVID-19 burden. If your group is not specifically listed in either Phase 1 or Phase 2, you will be eligible to receive the vaccine in Phase 3. The State expects to launch Phase 3 in mid April; however, timeframes of the plan are estimated and subject to change.
How do I make a vaccination appointment?
There are many places to schedule a vaccine appointment but vaccine supply is limited. Appointments fill up quickly across all public (state run mass vaccination sites and regional collaborative clinics) and private sites (health care providers, pharmacies, and vaccine clinics designed for specific groups/populations) that administer vaccines. The State maintains a comprehensive list of vaccine providers at vaxfinder.mass.gov. You can also search for and schedule local clinic appointments at www.maimmunizations.org (this is where you can schedule appointments at Franklin County Regional Collaborative Clinics). We post more detailed information about each of these methods on this website (see links below). Please be aware that this information changes regularly and it is a struggle to keep current with vaccine appointment information outside of our Regional Collaborative Clinics.
Can I get on a waiting list somewhere?
At Franklin County Clinics, we sometimes have 1-5 extra doses of the vaccine when we finish the day. Once we open a vial, we must use every dose within hours. We have a stand by list that we use to call individuals for doses left at the end of ongoing vaccine clinics. This list is deleted after the last clinic every week — the form opens at the beginning of the week once registration for our clinics is full.
What do I need to bring?
Proof of eligibility and your insurance card. Please wear a short-sleeved shirt or loose-fitting top so that the vaccinators can easily reach your upper arm.
How do I cancel my appointment?
To cancel a vaccination appointment, please open your confirmation email and click the button that says “Cancel.” If you made your appointment by phone through a Council on Aging, please call back the council and ask them to help you to cancel. If you are unable to attend your appointment, please cancel as soon as possible, so that we can work to re-fill the appointment slot.
If I cancel, do I have priority at the next clinic?
No. If you cancel an appointment for any reason, you will need to re-register for an open spot during the next clinic registration period.
How do I get my second dose?
The Federal government has assured us that every person who receives a first dose of the vaccine will be able to receive the second dose. You will learn about your second dose appointment in one of two ways: 1) We will make a second-dose appointment with you before you leave the first-dose clinic. 2) We will send you an email after you leave the first-dose clinic with a link to register for a special second-dose clinic. 3) We will give you an information sheet when you leave your first dose clinic with instructions on how to schedule your second dose appointment.
How can I help?
We are looking for volunteers to help with both appointment registration and with clinics. The Western Massachusetts Medical Reserve Corps (WMMRC) manages on-site clinic volunteers. Anyone interested can visit https://wmmrc.org/covid-19 for information on how to volunteer. There is a need for both clinical and non-clinical volunteers to help with vaccination clinic activities such as registration, health screening, scribing, traffic control, and administering the vaccine.
What assistance is there for those we are homebound (or find it taxing to travel), need transportation to receive a vaccine, or need help scheduling an appointment?
See our Resources Page to see what assistance is available to you and your loved ones.