RUTLAND, Mass. - COVID-19 vaccination eligibility is expanding in Massachusetts. Anyone 18 and older can now receive a booster shot. Meanwhile, younger kids are getting their first doses of the vaccine.
Nine-year old Isaac Tsai is getting his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. “It means I’ll be more safe from the coronavirus," Issac, who received the Pfizer vaccine, said.
Isaac's 10-year old sister, Abby, is getting her shot at Rutland’s pediatric vaccine clinic, too. “It was good," Abby said. "It just feels like a pinch and then its fine."
Isaac and Abby's mom, Nicole Santella, says being vaccinated helps keep the community safe.
“We are nervous about the amount of transmission we have seen in our community and we are excited to get some protection against that," Santella said.
About 1,200 kids between the ages 5 to 11 are expected to get their shots at the clinic. It’s run by volunteer nurses and is geared towards children. The CDC approved a child size dose of the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use earlier this month.
“I think it's awesome for those families who want it done, especially with the holidays coming," Scott Gilroy, chairman of the Rutland Board of Health, said. "I think it gives people a whole lot confidence to get together and whole lot more relaxation."
While kids across the state are getting their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, now anyone 18 and older is eligible to get their booster shot.
The Baker administration made the announcement on Thursday. People can get a booster six months after receiving their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna or two months after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“Anyone who needs their booster, because they’ve been out more than six months from their originally injections should get them," Worcester's medical director, Dr. Michael Hirsh, said. "That might help us stave off a very large surge as we are all going indoors and doing family gatherings."
Boosters are available at Worcester’s vaccination clinics as well as at pharmacies. Dr. Hirsh says you can get whichever vaccine you would like.
“You can mix and match," Dr. Hirsh said. "There doesn’t seem to be any downside to getting the same one again."
Meanwhile, the pediatric clinic in Rutland will continue on Friday. Kids can come back for their second dose in December.