COVID-19 Vaccines Are Here. Here’s What You Need to Know.

By Sara Bondell - January 11, 2021

After vaccinating thousands of health care workers, Moffitt Cancer Center is ready to begin vaccinating cancer patients for COVID-19. Starting this week, the cancer center will offer the COVID-19 vaccine to patients at the McKinley and Magnolia campuses.

Because cancer patients carry an increased risk for COVID-19, Moffitt would like to vaccinate all patients. However, at this time, there is a limited supply of vaccine doses. The cancer center is working to secure additional vaccine shipments, but in the meantime will identify suitable patients and vaccinate as many as possible.

If you are a Moffitt patient, here’s what you need to know about scheduling and receiving your COVID-19 vaccine.

Your care team will contact you. Please do not contact your providers; when it is your turn to receive the vaccine, they will call you. At that time, you will be able to schedule a time to receive the vaccine in conjunction with an upcoming appointment or during a separate session, such as a weekend vaccine clinic. We also want to ensure you are available approximately 28 days later for the second dose. Vaccines will be administered in the Gruden Huddle Room at the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Outpatient Center on the McKinley campus and the Vincent Stabile Research Building on the Magnolia campus.

Patients on active treatment will be prioritized. While the cancer center plans on vaccinating patients on surveillance, those currently receiving treatment will be vaccinated first while there are limited supplies. Your provider will decide if it is safe for you to receive the vaccine if you are receiving chemotherapy or immunotherapy. There are few restrictions for patients undergoing radiation treatment or scheduled for surgery. If you are set to receive a bone marrow transplant, it is recommended to wait three to six months after transplant to be vaccinated. There are no age restrictions for cancer patients to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Caregivers are not being vaccinated at this time. Even if your caregiver is over age 65, Moffitt will not vaccinate caregivers at this time. It is important to reserve the limited number of vaccines for patients.

If patients over 65 can get the vaccine in the community sooner, they should. If you are able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine from your county, don’t wait to receive one from Moffitt. If you are on active treatment, make sure you talk to your provider first before getting vaccinated. 

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 and vaccination, click here.

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Sara Bondell Medical Science Writer More Articles

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