The COVID-19 vaccines are our answer to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. At Roswell Park, we are strong proponents of vaccination for ourselves, our patients and everyone in our community. We trust the science that led to their development and have observed as millions around the world have safely rolled up their sleeves to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Roswell Park patients who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine and have not yet been vaccinated may now call us to schedule an appointment for the Pfizer vaccine at Roswell Park. The Pfizer vaccine is a two-dose series, and your second appointment will be scheduled at the time of your first shot. To reserve your appointment based on vaccine availability please call 716-845-4476.
The vaccine is expected to be safe in most patients. Your type of cancer, the kind of treatment you received or are receiving, or an immune-compromised condition will not automatically exclude you from receiving the vaccine. However, because it was not studied in cancer patients specifically, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines, co-authored by Roswell Park experts, notes that specific patients should wait to be vaccinated:
- You must wait at least 14 days after receiving another type of vaccination. If you are planning to receive another vaccine and a COVID vaccine is offered to you, choose the COVID vaccine first.
- If you received a blood or marrow transplant or cellular therapy (TCT) recently, you should wait to be vaccinated — at least 100 days after an autologous transplant or cellular therapy, and at least 180 days after an allogeneic transplant. This is to ensure that the vaccine will be as effective as possible.
- If you’re receiving immunosuppressive therapy for a brief period of time (i.e., for ten days or fewer), you should wait until completion of therapy to be vaccinated. Those on chronic therapy should be immunized as soon as a vaccine becomes available to you.
- If you’re scheduled to undergo surgery in the near future, you should be vaccinated at least 72 hours before surgery and no sooner than two weeks after surgery. The timing of the first or second vaccination after surgery will vary based on the type of surgery and how quickly you recover. In most cases, vaccination can be given within two weeks after surgery.
- If you have received platelet transfusions in the last 30 days, you will need approval from your care team. In addition, if you are being treated for a hematologic malignancy (a blood cancer, such as leukemia) and you have very low platelet counts, please contact your care team. The COVID vaccine is given as an injection into the muscle, and it may cause bleeding. If you have a very low platelet count and are used to getting platelets, you may need platelets before getting the immunization.
- Patients on anticoagulant therapy (blood thinners) may take the vaccine as long as they are within the therapeutic range. If you are on anticoagulation therapy and have noticeable bruising or bleeding, please contact your Roswell Park care team for guidance.
- If you are enrolled in a clinical trial, you will be screened electronically to see if you are in a trial that might make you ineligible for vaccination; this requires special approval from your care team.
Let's Start to Heal
We trust fact-based research that shows us getting vaccinated will help stop the spread of COVID-19. Get more information about the COVID-19 vaccines, and stay informed.Learn More