January 27 update: Based on the latest guidance we have received from the state of Massachusetts, we expect Dana-Farber's supply of COVID-19 vaccine for patients to be very limited in February and perhaps longer. We are
working hard to place special focus on getting vaccines to our most at-risk patients, in compliance with the state's rollout guidelines, as we receive allotments of the vaccine.
Depending on our supply, we hope to soon offer the vaccine to patients age 75 and older who are eligible for the next phase of vaccination. However, our ability to offer vaccines to patients depends on the amount we get from the
state and its direction on who is eligible. We strongly encourage you to check the state’s COVID-19 vaccine web page and
its map of vaccination locations to find other sites where you may be able to get a COVID-19
For many of our patients, we expect that a COVID-19 vaccine may be available to you at another site in your community before it is available from Dana-Farber.
If you are able to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination outside of Dana-Farber, we strongly encourage you to get the vaccine at that alternate site.
We will continue to share vaccine information as it becomes available and we will update this page with the latest news, which is rapidly changing. Our shared goal is to make sure everyone is protected from infection, regardless of where you may get the
Thank you for your support and understanding.
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ for Cancer Patients
Will the vaccine be safe?
The FDA oversight process is the gold standard for drug and vaccine safety. We have confidence in the FDA process. The safety of the vaccines has been rigorously reviewed through clinical trials and with
independent scientific advisory groups. The data demonstrate that the known and potential benefits of the vaccines outweigh the known and potential harms of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
Should cancer patients get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, we would recommend that cancer patients get a vaccine. There is no reason to think that the vaccine is any less safe for patients with cancer than for those without cancer. Some
cancer treatments can impair a patient's ability to mount an immune response, which might reduce some of the benefit, or affect the timing, of vaccination so cancer patients should discuss this with their oncologists.
What about immunocompromised patients?
At this point, there are not a lot of data about how profoundly immunocompromised patients may respond to the vaccine (such as those who recently received a stem cell transplant). While we have
every reason to believe the vaccine will be safe for these patients, the vaccine may not work as well for a time. Patients should discuss the timing of receiving the vaccine with their doctors.
Will the vaccine affect my cancer treatment?
No. At this point, there are no data to suggest that the vaccine should affect your cancer treatment. But you should talk to your oncologist if you are concerned.
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.
If I'm a Dana-Farber patient, will I get my vaccine from Dana-Farber or from somewhere else?
If you are able to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination outside of Dana-Farber, we strongly encourage you to get the vaccine at that alternate site. Our ability to offer vaccines to patients depends on the amount we get from the state and its direction on who is eligible. Please check the state’s COVID-19 vaccine web page and its map of vaccination locations to find other sites where you may be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
If I don't get a vaccine, am I at greater risk?
Yes, you will be at a greater risk for contracting COVID-19 than someone who has received a vaccine. Depending on your type of cancer or the treatments you are on, you may also be at
risk for a more serious form of the illness. We continue to take all the same safety precautions that we put in place when the pandemic began and we will continue to ensure that our environment is as safe as possible for all patients and staff, but
we strongly encourage everyone to get their vaccine as soon as they are eligible to do so.
Additional Information on Vaccines