COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Need to Know

COVID-19: A Personal Experience with the Vaccine. Dr. Samantha Jordan, Dental Director, and Dr. Kumble Rajesh, Chief Medical Officer at Lowell Community Health Center, discuss the safety and importance of the COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 Side Effects: What You Need to Know. Jeanmerli Gonzalez, Community Health Worker at Lowell Community Health Center, explains how the vaccine side effects are mild and easy to manage compared to having COVID-19.

SEE BELOW FOR MORE VIDEOS IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES.

COVID-19 Vaccine: Breakthrough Cases and How the Vaccines Interact With Our Bodies. Dr. Catherine Yu, Medical Director of Infectious Diseases at Lowell Community Health Center, explains how the COVID-19 vaccines safely interact with our bodies and are our best hope against the pandemic.

Delta Variant: What You Need To Know. Dr. Kumble Rajesh, Chief Medical Officer at Lowell Community Health Center, explains how the Delta variant differs from the original COVID-19 virus and how to protect yourself and your family.

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, easy to get, and free.

Alert (8/23/21): FDA Gives Full Approval for Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine. The US Food and Drug Administration has granted full approval to the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for people age 16 and older. The vaccine is still approved for Emergency Use for those age 12-15. Learn more.

Alert (8/11/21): The CDC now recommends the COVID-19 vaccine for everyone aged 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future. Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19. Learn more.

The vaccine is available and free (you do not need health insurance) to everyone who lives, works or studies in Massachusetts, including undocumented immigrants. You do not need to be a US citizen or have a green card to get the vaccine, and getting the vaccine will not affect your immigration status.

Flu Vaccine Announcement: Different virus, different vaccine. Different viruses cause the flu (influenza) and COVID-19, so even if you’ve had the COVID vaccine, you still need a flu vaccine. Millions of people get the flu and thousands die from flu-related causes every year. Please talk to your doctor or pharmacist about getting the flu vaccine.

Where to get the COVID-19 vaccine:

Lowell Clinics: Walk-ins or by appointment.
Massachusetts Vaccine Clinic Finder: Where vaccines are available in your community.
Massachusetts Vaccine Signup: Sign up for the vaccine.
MA COVID Vaccination Help: Volunteer organization that helps you book your vaccine appointment.
Lowell Community Health Center: Vaccinating health center patients only. Walk-ins available.
Lowell General Hospital: Vaccinating hospital patients and public. Walk-ins available. 
City of Lowell. Lowell residents only. Walk-ins available.

Update (5/11/21) The Food and Drug Administration has authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for use for ages 12 to 15, in addition to older teens and all adults who were previously eligible.

Update (4/23/21):  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have determined that the recommended pause regarding the use of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. should be lifted, and use of the vaccine should resume. According to the CDC: “We have concluded that the known and potential benefits of the Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine outweigh its known and potential risks in individuals 18 years of age and older. We are confident that this vaccine continues to meet our standards for safety, effectiveness and quality.”  Learn more.

About the vaccine:

Trust the Facts. Get the Vax: Vaccine safety, how it was developed, and how it works.
Center for Disease Control (CDC): Facts about COVID-19 and the vaccine.
Massachusetts DPH: Facts about COVID-19 and the vaccine.
Wellforce Vaccine resources and tools.


Vaccine Information Flyers

This education program is supported by funds from the Greater Lowell Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.

Community providers discuss the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine

Why should I be vaccinated for COVID-19? Dr. Kumble Rajesh, Chief of Pediatrics and the Interim Chief Medical Officer at Lowell Community Health Center, explains why the vaccination is safe, effective, and so important. Question provided by Sochenda Uch.

ហេតុម្តេចបានជាខ្ញុំចាំបាច់ចាក់ថ្នាំបង្ការជំងឺកូវិដ១៩? មូលហេតុគឺមានច្រើនណាស់! គ្រូពេទ្យរបស់មណ្ឌលសុខភាពក្រុងឡូវែល្ល ប៉ោលេង ហុង ពិភាក្សាអំពីមូលហេតុសំខាន់ដែលតម្រូវឲ្យចាក់ថ្នាំ។ សំណួរគឺសួរដោយលោក ស៊ីដនី លាង

Why should I get vaccinated for COVID-19? So many reasons! Lowell Community Health Center Nurse Practitioner Porleng Hong discusses the importance of getting vaccinated. Question provided by Sidney Liang. 

Por qué debería vacunarme contra COVID-19? Tantas razones! El Centro de Salud Comunitario Dr. Luis Velez Velazquez analiza las muchas razones para vacunarse. Pregunta proporcionada por JuanCarlos Rivera.

Why should I get vaccinated for COVID-19? So many reasons! Lowell Community Health Center Dr. Luis Velez Velazquez discusses the many reasons to get vaccinated. Question provided by JuanCarlos Rivera.

Por que deverei ser vacinado contra a COVID-19? Lowell Community Health Center Nurse Practitioner Simone De Oliveira nos fala sobre as varias razoes de sermos vacinados. Pergunta da Maria Cunha.

Why should I get vaccinated for COVID-19? So many reasons! Lowell Community Health Center Nurse Practitioner Simone De Oliveira discusses the many reasons to get vaccinated. Question provided by Maria Cunha.

តើថ្នាំចាក់បង្ការជំងឺកូវិដអាចធ្វើឲ្យខ្ញុំកើតកូវិដ-១៩ ឬឈឺស្កាត់បានទេ? ទេ! គ្រូពេទ្យរបស់មណ្ឌលសុខភាពក្រុងឡូវែល្ល ប៉ោលេង ហុង ពន្យល់ពីមូលហេតុ។ សំណួរគឺសួរដោយលោក ស៊ីដនី លាង

Can the vaccine give me COVID-19 or make me sick? No! Lowell Community Health Center Nurse Practitioner Porleng Hong explains why. Question provided by Sidney Liang.

Puede la vacuna darme COVID-19 o enfermarme? NO! El Dr. Luis Velez Velazquez del Lowell Community Health Center explica por qué. Pregunta proporcionada por JuanCarlos Rivera.

Can the vaccine give me COVID-19 or make me sick? NO! Lowell Community Health Center Dr. Luis Velez Velazquez explains why. Question provided by JuanCarlos Rivera.

A vacina contra covid-19 podera me deixar enfermo/doente? Nao! Lowell Community Health Center Nurse Practitioner Simone De Oliveira explica o por que. Pergunta da Maria Cunha.

Can the vaccine give me COVID-19 or make me sick? NO! Lowell Community Health Center Nurse Practitioner Simone De Oliveira explains why. Question provided by Maria Cunha.

Can the COVID-19 vaccine give me COVID or make me sick? No, it can’t. Dr. Kumble Rajesh, Chief of Pediatrics and the Interim Chief Medical Officer at Lowell Community Health Center, explains.


Dr. Hannah Tello, a psychologist and Community Data Manager with Greater Lowell Health Alliance, was interviewed on WBZ about the importance of youth — and all residents – getting the vaccine when you are eligible.

Dr Yong

Dr. Rothsovann Yong from Lowell General Hospital talks about to the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine in Khmer and English. See more videos on the Wellforce website.

¿Son seguras las vacunas COVID-19? ¡Sí! La enfermera practicante del Lowell Community Health Center, Evelyne Delori, explica por qué las vacunas COVID-19 son seguras y recomendadas. Pregunta proporcionada por Dolores Sierra.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe? Yes! Lowell Community Health Center Nurse Practitioner Evelyne Delori explains why the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and recommended. Question provided by Dolores Sierra.

Lowell General Hospital Providers Discuss the Top 3 Things to Know About Pregnancy, Pediatrics, and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Adam Weston, MD, Infectious Disease physician at Lowell General Hospital, discusses the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant woman, along with the risks of contracting the COVID-19 virus while pregnant.

Stephanie Valcourt-Dexter, CCRC, Clinical Research Coordinator at the Cancer Center at Lowell General Hospital, shares why she decided to get the COVID-19 vaccination while pregnant, as well as her experience with clinical trials and trusting the science behind vaccine development.

Jennifer Murzycki, MD, PhD, Section Chief of the Pediatric Hospitalist Program at Lowell General Hospital discusses the role COVID-19 vaccination has in keeping moms healthy, the latest research showing the benefits of mom’s vaccination in newborns, and the risks that the COVID-19 virus presents to babies.

#ThisIsMyWhy: Community members share why they are getting the vaccine

Jim Wilde, Executive Director, Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership

Luz Vasudevan nos comparte los motivos por los cuales recibió la vacuna contra el COVID-19.
Luz Vasudevan shares her reasons for getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

តើអ្នកនៅមិនហ៊ានចាក់ថ្នាំបង្ការជំងឺកូវិដ-១៩ ឬ? សូមស្តាប់អ្នកមីង តេង ប្រាថ្នា!

Are you still hesitating about CoviD-19 vaccines? Please listen to Ms. Prathana Teng!

Michael Horgan, Optical Manager at Lowell Community Health Center, shares his reason for getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

តើអ្នកនៅមិនហ៊ានចាក់ថ្នាំបង្ការជំងឺកូវិដ-១៩ ឬ? សូមស្តាប់អ្នកមីង តេង ប្រាថ្នា!
Are you afraid of the COVID-19 vaccine? Please listen to Grandma Kum Chi of Glory Buddhist Temple in Lowell!

ព្រះគុណលោកម្ចាស់តា វិជ្ជាសម្បន្នោ ឈូម សំបូចាក់ថ្នាំការពារកូវិដ-១៩មុនគេបង្អស់នៅវត្តពន្លឺពុទ្ធចក្ក។ សូមស្តាប់ពុទ្ធដិការបស់ព្រះអង្គ!

Our Head Monk, Lok Ta Vichea Sambano: Chhoum Bo, at Glory Buddhist Temple was the first of this temple to get vaccinated. A true leader!

Mercy Anampiu, Health Promotion & Education Manager at Lowell Community Health Center, shares why she got the COVID-19 vaccine and is encouraging others to do the same.

Kwanini nilipata chanjo yangu ya COVID-19: Mercy Anampiu.

Why I got the COVID-19 vaccine: Mercy Anampiu.

Maria Claudio nos comparte los motivos por los cuales recibió la vacuna contra el COVID-19.
Maria Claudio shares her reasons for getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

We now have vaccines to protect us from COVID-19. Here are the facts you need to know.

The vaccines are safe and effective.

The vaccines approved for use in the US are all safe and effective. As of early March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized three vaccines – from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson –  for emergency use and found no serious safety concerns. Doctors and independent experts confirmed they meet high safety standards.

Vaccines are free.

The federal government will cover the cost of your vaccine. Providers may charge you a fee to give the vaccine, but health insurance will likely cover it.

You may need two doses.

Depending on which vaccine you receive, you will get a single dose (Johnson & Johnson) or you will get two doses of vaccine, three to four weeks apart (Pfizer and Moderna).

You CANNOT catch COVID-19 from the vaccine.

There is no live virus in the vaccine, so you cannot catch COVID-19 by getting vaccinated.

You may feel side effects.

Like other routine vaccines, you may get a sore arm, fever, headaches, or tired after getting vaccinated. These are signs that the vaccine is working.

People at highest risk get the vaccine first.

The first doses are going to people at higher risk due to their jobs, age, or health conditions. Everyone will be able to get vaccinated when we have enough doses. Go to www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine to find out when you can get the vaccine.

Some people should not get the vaccine.

You can get the vaccine even if you have had COVID. Children under 16 cannot receive a vaccine (the Pfizer vaccine is for ages 16 and up and Moderna and Johnson & Johnson for ages 18 and up). You should tell your vaccine provider if you have a fever, have a history of severe allergic reactions, have a bleeding disorder or take blood thinners, have immunity problems, or are pregnant.

Stay safe after the vaccine.

After you get the vaccine, wear your mask, stay six feet apart, and keep gatherings small for those who have not been vaccinated.

*Source: CDC

Frequently Asked Questions

Know What is True and False About the Vaccine

False: It was rushed and is not safe.
True: Researchers took no safety shortcuts with the vaccine. Large studies show the vaccine is safe.

False: It changes your DNA.
True: It is impossible for the vaccine to change your DNA.

False: It can give you COVID-19.
True: The vaccine does not contain a live virus strain. It cannot give you COVID-19.

False: It contains egg protein or shellfish.
True: The vaccine does not contain egg protein or shellfish and can be given to people with egg and shellfish allergies.

False: It causes severe side effects.
True: For most, the vaccine causes mild side effects that resolve in a few days.

False: It makes women infertile.
True: There is no evidence that the vaccine causes infertility.

False: It contains a microchip or tracking device.
True: There is no microchip or tracking device in the vaccine.

*Source: CDC

Talking Points on the COVID-19 Vaccine

These may be helpful in talking with clients, staff, patients, and others who may have questions or concerns about the vaccine.

All vaccines are safe and effective. The three available vaccines—from Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson—are safe and effective.

The vaccines are free. The federal government covers the cost of the vaccine.

You may need two doses. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses to be given, three to four weeks apart.

You may feel side effects. Like other routine vaccines, you may get a sore arm, fever, headaches, or tired after getting vaccinated. These are signs that the vaccine is working.

You CANNOT catch COVID-19 from the vaccine. It is not possible because it does not contain a live virus.

Some people should not get the vaccine.
Children under 12 cannot receive a vaccine at this time (the Pfizer vaccine is for ages 12 and up and Moderna and Johnson & Johnson for ages 18 and up). You should tell your doctor or vaccine provider if you have a fever, have a history of severe allergic reactions, have a bleeding disorder or take blood thinners, have immunity problems, or are pregnant. You can get the vaccine even if you have had COVID.

The vaccine DOES NOT change your DNA, contain egg protein or shellfish, make women infertile, or contain a microchip or tracking device. These are false stories being spread to scare people.

You still need to stay safe after the vaccine.
It is important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to us to help stop this pandemic After you get the vaccine, you still need to wear your mask, stay six feet apart, wash your hands, and keep gatherings small for those who have not been vaccinated.