On February 1, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts specified in its vaccine eligibility guidelines that inoculations be available to Group 1 of Phase II (those 75 and older).
We strongly urge all members of our community who are eligible to get the vaccine to do so as soon possible. Resuming normal operations at the College — as well as our own personal pre-pandemic activities — can happen only when we achieve herd immunity.
Be forewarned that because vaccine supplies are currently limited, appointments are also limited, even for those eligible for the vaccine.
Am I Eligible for a Vaccine?
Visit mass.gov/COVIDvaccine to find your phase and priority group.
Where Can I Get a Vaccine?
If you are eligible for the vaccine, go to mass.gov/COVIDVaccineMap, where you can find a location, schedule an appointment online, and fill out the self-attestation form, which you will need to present at the appointment. Remember to bring important personal information, such as your health insurance card. You will need to wear a mask when getting your vaccine.
If you are unable to book an appointment at the first clinic you select, you will need to start the process over. It might take some time and patience to get through the process!
While Amherst College has been chosen as a vaccination site, this means only that as vaccines become more widely available, the College will be eligible to administer them on campus. The fact that the College has been chosen as a vaccination site does not automatically confer any access to vaccines, and there is no indication that we will be approved to receive the vaccine any time soon.
While we are doing our best to secure access to the vaccine, please do not wait for the College to become an active provider of the vaccine. Instead, we encourage you to schedule a vaccine appointment at another nearby location.
Why Get a Vaccine?
The CDC states that studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19, and that a COVID-19 vaccine may help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
Are the Vaccines Safe?
The COVID-19 vaccines cannot give you COVID-19. According to the CDC: “The U.S. vaccine safety system makes sure that all vaccines are as safe as possible. All the COVID-19 vaccines that are being used have gone through the same safety tests and meet the same standards as any other vaccines produced through the years. A system in place across the entire country that allows CDC to watch for safety issues and make sure the vaccines stay safe.”
What Should I Expect When Getting a Vaccine?
According to the CDC: “The vaccines may cause side effects in some people, like sore muscles, feeling tired, or mild fever. These reactions mean the vaccine is working to help teach your body how to fight COVID-19 if you are exposed. For most people, these side effects will last no longer than a day or two. Having these types of side effects does NOT mean that you have COVID-19. If you have questions about your health after your shot, call your doctor, nurse, or clinic. As with any medicine, it is rare but possible to have a serious reaction, such as not being able to breathe. It is very unlikely that this will happen, but if it does, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.”
Will I Still Need to Wear a Mask After Getting the Vaccine?
Yes. Even after you get your vaccine, you will need to keep wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth, washing your hands often, and practicing physical distancing.