Skip Navigation

COVID-19 Vaccine for Patients

  • Vacuna contra COVID-19 para pacientes


  • collage of employees receiving COVID-19 vaccinations - 2

  • Last updated April 16, 2021

    COVID-19 Vaccinations Are Still Limited

    Our vaccine supply is still limited by the state of Massachusetts, so we are contacting small groups of eligible patients who are most at risk for complications from COVID.

    • If you are eligible for a vaccine appointment through Dana-Farber, we will contact you by phone, email, text message, or Patient Gateway.
    • If you have not yet heard from us and are eligible to receive a vaccine, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at vaxfinder.mass.gov. If you live outside of Massachusetts, learn how to sign up for a vaccine in your state.
    • Please do not call your Dana-Farber care team to ask about vaccine appointments. We are scheduling all vaccine appointments through Patient Gateway and a central vaccine line.

    We will frequently update this page with the latest vaccine news, which is rapidly changing.

    Please Sign Up for Patient Gateway

    If you are not already signed up, we urge you to take a few minutes to enroll in Patient Gateway (at www.patientgateway.org). Having a free account on Patient Gateway will make it easier for you to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment when you are eligible to get one.

    To get started, visit Patient Gateway and click Enroll Now. For step-by-step instructions, download our How to Enroll in Patient Gateway guide.

    For more details about the site, check Dana-Farber's Patient Gateway overview.

    COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ for Dana-Farber Patients

    Can my caregiver also get a COVID-19 vaccine from Dana-Farber?

    • Not at this time.

    How can I get a list of my comorbidities, or medical conditions? 

    • When you sign up for a Massachusetts vaccine appointment, you do not need a formal note or certification about your medical conditions from your Dana-Farber doctor.

    What if I don’t live in Massachusetts?

    Check with your state’s COVID-19 vaccine effort. New England state websites include:

    Will you be giving the vaccine during infusion when I visit Dana-Farber?

    No. Our vaccination clinic will be held separate from your cancer care. This is to ensure that we can safely give the vaccine to a large number of patients without wasting any of the supply.

    • If you are scheduled for a vaccination at Dana-Farber, your care team will not be present at your vaccination appointment. Our vaccine clinic is operated by trained vaccine personnel.

    What if I don’t live near Dana-Farber's vaccination location?

    If you are unable to travel to Dana-Farber's vaccination clinic when you are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, visit your state’s vaccine website to determine where a COVID-19 vaccine may be available near you. If you are in Massachusetts, visit www.mass.gov/COVIDvaccine.

    Can I choose which vaccine I get?

    We are not able to offer a choice of which vaccine version you will get if you are scheduled for a vaccination at Dana-Farber. Our vaccine supply from the state is limited and unpredictable from week to week, so you will receive whichever vaccine is available on the day of your appointment.

    We want to make sure that we can offer this important protection to as many of our patients as possible, as quickly as possible, so we strongly encourage you to get whichever vaccine is available to you. Studies show that all COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use by the FDA are highly effective.

    Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I've recently had cellular therapy (such as CAR T-cell therapy) or a stem cell transplant?

    Yes, but only after 100 days has passed since your transplant or cellular therapy. In fact, we recommend that all transplant and cellular therapy patients strongly consider a COVID-19 vaccine when 100 days have elapsed from their transplant or cellular therapy. We anticipate that some transplant and cellular therapy patients may be able to receive the vaccine at Dana-Farber, depending on your time from transplant or cellular therapy. Please continue to check this Dana-Farber COVID-19 vaccine page for updates.

    Can I go back to normal after I get the vaccine (no masks, etc.)?

    No. Even after you are vaccinated, it will still be important to follow best practices for preventing spread of the virus as we learn more about how the vaccines protect us under real-life conditions. This includes wearing a facemask, washing hands often, and physical distancing.

    Is the vaccine safe?

    As with any medication, we follow guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which has a strong vaccine safety system to ensure that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Many clinical trials are currently evaluating the COVID-19 vaccines to best determine their safety and effectiveness.

    If I've had an allergic reaction to chemotherapy in the past, should I worry about reactions to the vaccine?

    Talk with your care team if you've had an allergic reaction to certain chemotherapy drugs, such as those that contain polyethylene glycol (PEG), which is a compound that is part of the current COVID-19 vaccines. Learn more at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19.

    Who should not get the vaccine?

    According to the Centers for Disease Control, you should not get a COVID-19 vaccine if you have had an immediate allergic reaction to any ingredient in either of the two available COVID-19 vaccines. This includes polyethylene glycol (PEG), a compound found in some chemotherapy treatments. Talk with your care team or healthcare provider if you have questions. Learn more at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19.

    Can I get one vaccine dose at Dana-Farber, and the other dose at another location?

    If you get the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, you should get both doses at the same location.

    Is it OK to mix the vaccines (i.e., get a different vaccine for each dose)?

    No. You must receive the same vaccine for doses one and two.

    Is there a cost to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at Dana-Farber?

    No. Per federal rules, there is no cost to you to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Your health insurance plan may be charged a modest administration fee, but there will be no cost to you.

    What if I experience side effects after getting a COVID-19 vaccine?

    No matter where you are given a COVID-19 vaccine, you will be given clear instructions on what to do if you experience side effects (which are typically mild). For answers to some of the more common questions about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit www.mass.gov/COVIDvaccine and click on "Frequently Asked Questions" or go directly to www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccine-frequently-asked-questions.

    Are you vaccinating patients seen in the Jimmy Fund Clinic?

    Dana-Farber is only able to invite patients age 18 and older for vaccinations, but patients age 16 and older who are seen in the pediatric Jimmy Fund Clinic will be contacted by Boston Children’s Hospital when they are eligible for a COVID vaccine. If you have questions, please check the Boston Children's Hospital COVID-19 vaccine information page, or call the Boston Children's COVID-19 hotline at 617-355-4200 (toll-free 855-281-5730).

    My child is younger than age 16. When will he or she be able to get the vaccine?

    We do not know, but experts are optimistic that a vaccine for children and young adults may be available by late 2021. Please check the Boston Children's Hospital COVID-19 vaccine information page for answers to frequently asked questions, such as when children might be able to receive a vaccine.

    As a parent of a cancer patient, will I be eligible to get a vaccine from Dana-Farber?

    No, because Dana-Farber must follow the rules set out by the state of Massachusetts for phases of the vaccine rollout. Learn more about the vaccine phases and where to get a vaccine outside of Dana-Farber at www.mass.gov/COVIDvaccine.

    Additional Information on Vaccines

  • Cancer and the COVID-19 Vaccine


    Dana-Farber hosted an open forum on January 27, 2021 for cancer patients and survivors on the COVID-19 vaccine. The forum included a Q&A with Dana-Farber clinicians who addressed questions about vaccine safety, availability, and more.

    Download a transcript of this webinar in Spanish

  • Vaccines for Cancer Patients and Survivors: What We Know

    How do vaccines work? Are they safe for cancer patients? In particular, will the COVID-19 vaccine be safe for cancer patients and for those out of treatment? How is Dana-Farber working with federal and state officials on distribution and other plans? Learn what we currently know.

  • What Should I Do After I Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

    People who receive a COVID-19 vaccine need to continue taking safety precautions to protect others from COVID-19. It is currently unclear whether getting the COVID-19 vaccine will prevent you from spreading the virus to others.
  • COVID-19 Vaccine and Cancer: Reaching Communities of Color
    Thomas Farrington, a prostate cancer survivor and founder of the Prostate Health Education Network, as well as a trustee for Dana-Farber, shares why he feels it's especially important for communities of color to trust, and have access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • I Got the COVID-19 Vaccine, and Here's Why You Should Too

    Dana-Farber oncology nurse Melissa Houston, RN, BSN, writes about her decision to get vaccinated and addresses concerns that some people have about the vaccine's safety and effectiveness.
  • Dana-Farber Administers COVID-19 Vaccinations to Staff
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has begun vaccinating clinical and non-clinical patient-facing staff for COVID-19. The Institute has a goal of 1,000 vaccines each week.
    Video published 12/17/2020

  • Visit these Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Websites ...
    ...for more information on COVID-19 vaccine safety and some common misconceptions.