General Orders

Headline:

On June 18, 2022, the CDC authorized COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5 years of age, permitting MA children ages 6 months and older to get the free COVID-19 vaccine now.

Last-reviewed: 9am, June 23, 2022

Key Resource:

The Basics

  • The national Public Health Emergency Declaration is effective until July 15, 2022. The US Secretary of Health & Human Services may extend the declaration for an additional 90 days.
  • All people age 6 months and older are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine and those older than 5 can also get the booster if they live, work, or study in MA. Find additional information on mass.gov.
  • Options for in-home and laboratory COVID-19 testing are also available throughout the state. Find additional information on mass.gov.

The Breakdown

  • MA has adopted the CDC’s isolation and quarantine guidelines. People who test positive for COVID-19 are advised to isolate for 5 days. Quarantine recommendations depend on vaccination status and ability to mask. For additional information, see the full guidance.
  • On June 18, 2022, the CDC authorized both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for children 6 months through 5 years of age. Read more here.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are available for all people age 6 months and older. Find a vaccine distribution location online or by calling Mass 2-1-1.
  • COVID-19 boosters are available for people age 5 and older who received their vaccination(s) from Pfizer or Moderna at least 6 months ago 5r from Johnson & Johnson at least 2 months ago.
  • A second COVID-19 booster is available for MA residents who are 50 and older, as well as those who are immunocompromised. For details, view the full Press Release.
  • Find additional information on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters on the COVID-19 Vaccine and Booster Information page.
  • People who received COVID-19 vaccinations in MA can request an electronic SMART Health Card that can be used as proof of vaccination. For additional information and to request a SMART Health Card visit myvaxrecords.mass.gov.
  • COVID-19 tests sites are available throughout the state. In addition, some people are eligible for testing at no cost. For additional information, visit the Find a COVID-19 Test page.
  • Most insurers are required to cover 8 at-home COVID-19 tests per month. Insurers can choose to have people pay up-front for tests and submit their receipt with a claim for reimbursement of up to $12.00 per test. For additional information, read the full HHS announcement. Individuals should also check with their healthcare insurer for details. 
  • Households can complete a form on covidtests.gov to get an additional 8 free COVID-19 tests shipped to their home.
  • Free COVID-19 tests are available for MA residents who live or work in congregate care, have symptoms of COVID-19, or had a recent contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Individuals seeking a free at-home test should check the Labcorp website daily as availability is limited.
  • MA distributed 2.1 million free COVID-19 testing kits to high-risk towns and cities. These testing kits are meant for people without the resources to purchase an at-home testing kit. Check town/city websites for more information.  
  • MassHealth and Health Safety Net members may qualify for curb-to-curb transportation to vaccine, booster, and testing appointments. Members should ask their doctor to submit a transportation request (i.e., a “PT-1 form”). If they have difficulty with the process, they can also call 1-800-841-2900.
  • The MA DPH advises unvaccinated people and vaccinated people who are immunocompromised (or live with someone who is immunocompromised) to wear masks indoors. Read the full DPH Advisory for additional details.
  • The CDC recommends masks based on COVID-19 community level. Check the local community level and mask recommendation on the CDC website.
  • Masks are still required in healthcare facilities and in congregate care settings (e.g., prisons and assisted living homes). As of April 18, 2022, masks are no longer required on public transportation except for RIDE (the MBTA’s paratransit service). See the full DPH Advisory for additional details.
  • Anyone can report violations of mask mandates or other public health concerns to their local Board of Health and the MA Dept. of Labor Standards.
  • Free N95 masks are available on a first come, first served basis at many local pharmacies and community health centers. For a full list of pharmacies that will be distributing masks, visit CDC Find Free Masks.

The Bottom Line

  • Kids under 5 years old are now eligible to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Find updates on COVID-19 and related state policies on mass.gov.