COVID-19 Boosters Available to All Adults and Other Covid Updates

Holiday Covid Safety Steps Urged

Here is the COVID-19 update for Monday, November 22. Please also check somervillema.gov/covid19 for information and resources that are updated frequently.  

Incidence rate rising again: After a brief dip in local case numbers in October, Somerville’s Covid-19 incidence rate has risen more than 50% over the past two weeks. See the latest Somerville case data at somervillema.gov/covid19dashboard.

Booster shots now available for everyone 18+: Both the Federal Drug Administration and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have approved COVID-19 booster shots for all adults. That means if you are age 18 and you are at least six months past your second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or two months past the date of your Johnson & Johnson vaccine, you can immediately get a COVID-19 booster shot at any medical facility or pharmacy where boosters are being offered. The boosters are strongly recommended as a way to bolster immunity. This is important because immunity from the initial doses wanes over time. The state has put together a list of frequently-asked questions about booster shots:  https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-booster-frequently-asked-questions. The three main things to know is they are safe, free, and available regardless of your citizenship status.

Where to get boosters and initial vaccines: Boosters will be an important part of lessening the spread of the disease during the upcoming winter months. Our suggestion for the first place to try is the Somerville CHA Vaccine Center in the Target shopping plaza near Union Square. The site accepts both walk-ins and appointments (though pre-registration could speed your processing and wait times). CHA offers boosters for all vaccine types in addition to initial COVID-19 vaccines for everyone age 5+. One tip when getting a booster shot: bring your vaccine card with you for faster processing.

Other options include local pharmacies (pre-registration may be necessary), your primary care provider, vaxfinder.mass.gov, and calling 211. You may also sign up for City of Somerville vaccine alerts to get the latest local information and learn when mobile vaccine clinics are coming to your neighborhood. A round of City-sponsored clinics just ended. We expect more mobile clinics to be scheduled early next year.

Holiday safety tips: COVID cases in Massachusetts just reached a nine-month high. In order to not repeat the tragic fall and winter surge of last year, COVID precautions are urged for this holiday season. The CDC has a holiday safety guide. The main thing to keep in mind is responsible behavior leading up to the holidays will lead to safer celebrations. Making sure everyone at the gathering is vaccinated, getting a booster if you are eligible, and masking up in indoor public spaces will lessen the chances of people contracting the virus and spreading it to others during what should be a happy occasion. Having smaller holiday get-togethers and keeping it among people who regularly associate with each other also can lessen the spread. Outdoor celebrations (sunny weather is currently forecast for Thanksgiving) are safer than indoor gatherings. Finally, get tested in the days leading up to the holiday if you think you might pose a risk. Go to somervillema.gov/covid19testing to find a testing location.

Rent/mortgage assistance available: If you find yourself or anyone you know unable to make rent or mortgage payments (or if you are a landlord owed back rent), assistance may be available. Immediately contact our Office of Housing Stability at 617-625-6600 x2581 or the Community Action Agency of Somerville at 617-623-7370. REMINDER: back rent ultimately must be paid.

Sign up for the free weekly City eNewsletter: There’s always a lot going on in Somerville that has nothing to do with COVID-19 and one of the best ways to stay on top of it is by getting our weekly e-news update. You’ll get updates on events, meetings, surveys, volunteer opportunities, job openings, affordable housing offerings, and more. Sign up at somervillema.gov/newsletter.

 


Persons with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication (i.e., CART, ASL), written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures in order to access the programs, activities, and meetings of the City of Somerville should please contact Nancy Bacci at 617-625-6600 x 2250 or nbacci@somervillema.gov.