Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 infection, are safe in people undergoing treatment for cancer. The vaccines produced modestly impaired immune responses in patients with cancer, but booster vaccine doses enhanced immunity.
Mass General Brigham is offering appointments for first-dose vaccine for patients 5 years and older.
We also offer COVID-19 booster shots to patients 12 years and older.
- Booster shots are offered after completion of the primary series for Pfizer vaccines after 5 months, for Moderna vaccines after 6 months, and for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after 2 months.
- For individuals 5 years and older who are moderately or severely compromised, an additional primary shot is available according to CDC guidelines 28 days after the 2nd shot.
We also have community vans that offer free COVID-19 vaccines on select days and times; no appointment needed.
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs for Cancer Center Patients
I have cancer. Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to me?
Yes. The CDC has stated that people with cancer may receive the COVID-19 vaccines, as long as they have had no issues with getting vaccines in the past.
Should I get the vaccine if I am actively receiving cancer treatment or should I wait until my treatment course is done?
If your current treatment includes chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapies, or radiation therapy, the decision about when you get vaccinated should be made together with your care team.
In making your decision, you should consider your risk of exposure to the virus, what your chances of getting very sick might be if you do get the virus, and when your treatment will be finished.
If you are done with treatment, you should get vaccinated when the vaccine is available to you. This includes patients who are still being seen, as part of post-treatment, or are thought of as in the “survivorship” part of their journey.
Will the vaccine interfere with my cancer treatment?
No. At this time, there is no evidence to suggest that the vaccine will affect your cancer treatment.
Can my caregiver get the vaccine?
Your caregiver (e.g., your spouse or adult child) should talk with their own health care provider to determine if they should get the vaccine when it is available to them.
For more information and FAQs about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit massgeneralbrigham.org/covid19/vaccine. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.
- Patient Education
- Feb | 4 | 2021
View recommendations for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine after cancer surgery requiring lymph node removal under the arm.
- Dec | 30 | 2020
View COVID-19 Information for Cancer Center Patients, including FAQs.
- Jan | 12 | 2022
Please view Mass General's updated visitor policy.
- Jul | 7 | 2020
The Mass General Cancer Center is ready, willing, and able to see patients. Patients may have some anxiety about coming to the hospital because of the pandemic, but ease some of those concerns by hearing how we are keeping patients and staff safe.
- Jul | 7 | 2020
Virtual healthcare visits have quickly become the norm. Dr. Steven Isakoff, Breast Oncologist, provides tips for making your Mass General Cancer Center virtual visit run smoothly.