COVID-19 Vaccines | Fenway Health: Health Care Is A Right, Not A Privilege. COVID-19 Vaccines – Fenway Health: Health Care Is A Right, Not A Privilege.

COVID-19 Vaccines

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Fenway Health has received our first patient doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH).

  • We are now able to vaccinate eligible patients by appointment only at both the 1340 Boylston Street and Fenway: South End locations in accordance with MDPH safety guidelines.
  • Vaccination clinic times are as follows:
    • 1340 Boylston Street in the 10th floor auditorium—Monday, February 8 between 9 am – 3 pm
    • Fenway: South End in the 2nd floor waiting area—Monday, February 8 between 9 am – 3 pm.
  • We are currently contacting patients who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination through email, phone calls and text messages to schedule vaccine appointments based on BOTH the state’s eligibility criteria AND our supply of vaccine.
  • Please do not call Fenway Health to make a vaccination appointment unless we reach out to you by phone, e-mail, or text asking you to do so. Please do not show up to a vaccination clinic if you do not have an appointment.
  • Continue checking this page, our Facebook page and other social media (@fenwayhealth), and check for phone calls, text messages, and emails from us as more patients become eligible for vaccination.
  • We are following MDPH guidelines as we expand our vaccination efforts to other patient populations.
  • The Moderna vaccine is reported to be 94–95% effective in preventing serious illness from COVID-19 after receiving two doses of the same vaccine at the recommended intervals.
The following people are currently eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Massachusetts, according to MDPH guidelines:
  • Phase 1: Health care workers, long term care inhabitants, first responders, and people in congregate care settings
  • Phase 2, Group 1: Patients aged 75 years old and older
  • Phase 2, Group 2:
    • Patients aged 65 years old and older
    • Patients who are 16 and over with 2+ qualifying medical conditions (see below)
    • Patients who live in low income or affordable senior housing
While Massachusetts is allowing for caregivers to also receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Fenway Health is not able to accommodate caregivers at this time. However, the mass vaccination sites are. Click here for more information.
The following people will become eligible to receive the vaccine later in Phase 2 (in priority order):
  • Early education and K-12 workers, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation, public works, and public health workers
  • People with one underlying medical condition
We do not have a date for when the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) will allow us to begin offering the vaccine to these groups. Click here for the most up-to-date information on who may be included in this phase and future phases.

If you are not in a currently eligible vaccination group, please remember that MDPH will announce when additional vaccination groups become eligible and we will continue to reach out to our patients and clients based on MDPH’s updates
The CDC has defined a list of certain medical conditions that cause individuals to be at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. These include but are not limited to*:
  • Asthma (moderate to severe)
  • Cancer
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Heart conditions
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
*Click here for the complete list.

We understand that patients may be eager to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Due to limited appointment and vaccine availability at Fenway Health (we currently receive anywhere from zero to several hundred vaccine doses from MDPH each week, but we have over 4,000 patients and clients who are currently eligible for vaccination), many of our patients may receive their vaccination elsewhere. The state has created two new options to help people receive their vaccination:

Our hospital partner, Beth Israel Lahey Health, once again has first COVID-19 vaccine doses and is currently doing outreach to their patients, including Fenway Health patients. If you receive a call from Beth Israel, we encourage you to sign up to be vaccinated by them if it is convenient for you.

  1. Please complete the COVID-19 Vaccine Screening Questionnaire prior to your appointment and bring it with you to your vaccination appointment.
  2. Please wear a t-shirt underneath, so that vaccination staff can easily reach the vaccination site on your arm.
  3. Please bring your insurance card just in case your demographics and insurance information need to be updated; please note that lack of insurance will not keep you from getting vaccinated, and vaccination will always be performed at no cost to patients/clients. You should never be asked to pay for your vaccination appointment or your vaccine. You should never be asked for other personal details like a credit card number or your social security number.
  4. If you do not normally take drugs like ibuprofen/naproxen/acetaminophen, please do not start taking it before your vaccination appointment. If these drugs are part of your daily regimen, please do not stop taking them just because of the vaccine.
  5. Please wear a mask to your appointment.

Flu Vaccinations
We are currently in the height of flu season in Massachusetts. As our state is experiencing a second wave of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to stay up to date on vaccinations. Getting your flu shot will not only help keep you healthy but your family and community as well! Click here to earn more about flu vaccinations at Fenway Health.

If you have questions that are not answered on this page, please call 617.927.6000 if you are a patient at our 1340 Boylson Street office or 617.247.7555 if you are a Fenway: South End patient.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information for the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccines

  • Both vaccines are approx. 95% effective within 7–14 days after the second dose.
  • Both vaccines require two doses: Pfizer’s at 21 days and Moderna’s within 28 days.
  • The vaccines are designed to prevent serious illness from COVID 19 if you are exposed.
  • Despite the vaccine preventing serious illness, there may be a small chance that you can still transmit the virus.
  • We do not know how long protection against COVID-19 may last following immunization.
  • Both vaccines are classified as “messenger RNA vaccines” (mRNA).
  • mRNA technology has been used extensively in cancer treatment and is considered very safe.
  • mRNA vaccines do not contain live virus and do not carry a risk of causing disease in the vaccinated person.
  • mRNA does not affect/interact with the person’s DNA.
  • We believe that most of our patients would benefit from this vaccine.
  • No serious safety concerns have been identified with either vaccine to date.
  • At this time, having a history of COVID infection is not a contraindication to receiving the COVID vaccine.
  • It is unknown at this time if the vaccine is safe for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding and for children below the age of 16. Check with your primary care physician before getting vaccinated.
  • The vaccine will not be mandatory at Fenway Health or in Massachusetts.
  • The vaccines may help us reach our goal of “herd immunity.” This is when a large portion of the community becomes immune to COVID, whether it be via COVID infection or COVID-19 vaccination, making person to person spread unlikely.
  • Side effects may occur after receiving either of the two available COVID-19 vaccines, especially after the second dose.
  • Reported side effects for the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine include:
    • Injection site reactions: pain, tenderness and swelling of the lymph nodes in the same arm of the injection, swelling (hardness), and redness
    • General side effects: fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, chills, nausea and vomiting, and fever
    • Severe Allergic Reactions: There is a remote chance that the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine could cause a severe allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction would usually occur within a few minutes to one hour after receiving the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine. Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include:
      • Difficulty breathing
      • Swelling of your face and throat
      • A fast heartbeat
      • A bad rash all over your body
      • Dizziness and weakness
  • Can I Take Pain Relievers?
    If you regularly take aspirin, acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g. Motrin, Advil) for other medical conditions, continue to do so as directed by your physician or as needed. Otherwise, do not take them before vaccination. Taking these over-the-counter pain relievers before receiving a vaccine may reduce its ability to work and slow your immune system’s response to it.

    If you have pain or discomfort after receiving the vaccine, it’s ok to take pain relievers. Remember, side effects after the COVID-19 vaccine can be a good sign that your body is building protection, and they should go away in a few days. If you have concerns about taking medications, check with your doctor.
  • Is there a risk of developing Bell’s Palsey?
    During Moderna’s clinical trials and follow-up period, there were three reports of Bell’s palsy (facial paralysis) in the test group. All three patients were noted as having preexisting conditions that may have played a role in the development of facial paralysis. There is not sufficient information to determine a causal relationship with the vaccine. The FDA recommends monitoring for cases of Bell’s palsy.
  • After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, will I test positive for COVID-19 on a viral test?
    No. Neither the recently authorized and recommended vaccines nor the other COVID-19 vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States can cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.​If your body develops an immune response—the goal of vaccination—there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
  • The vaccine is still being studied and other serious and unexpected side effects may occur.
Some underlying conditions that put people at increased risk of severe COVID infection include:
  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Down Syndrome
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
  • Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Smoking
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Those vaccinated should continue to:
  • Yes. Everyone, including persons who have received both doses of vaccine, should continue to follow CDC’s recommendations on wearing masks, washing hands, and social distancing for the foreseeable future.
  • It may take time for everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccination to get one. A vaccine that is 95% effective means that about 1 out of 20 people who get it may not have protection from getting the illness.
Fenway Health: Health Care Is A Right, Not A Privilege.