Updates on COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters for cancer patients

Dr. Phillip McCarthy receives his COVID-19 vaccine.

Second booster shot of mRNA vaccine urged for immunocompromised people

An expert panel from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends second booster doses for cancer patients — including those over age 50 or who are immunocompromised. The NCCN panel endorses a second booster for patients with cancer regardless of whether the second booster corresponds to a fourth or fifth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The guidelines recommend a second booster at least four months after the first booster for all patients:

  • with hematologic cancers regardless of whether they're on active therapy
  • who received stem cell transplant or engineered cellular therapy within the last two years or who are receiving immunosuppressive agents
  • who received cancer therapy within one year of their initial vaccine (although patients with solid tumors are more likely to mount immune responses to vaccination)

Roswell Park's Brahm Segal, MD, Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, is Co-Leader of the NCCN Advisory Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis that developed and maintains the COVID-19 vaccination guidelines. You can view the complete NCCN Guidelines on COVID-19 Vaccination here. The CDC also offers a useful reference chart on timing of primary vaccine and booster doses.

Roswell Park patients should speak to their treating physician about whether they will benefit from a booster or second booster dose. Your provider can arrange for scheduling of any additional COVID-19 vaccines that are needed.

Additionally, caregivers of our patients can also receive additional boosters through our Community Vaccine Clinic by appointment on the ground floor of the hospital near the Pediatric Clinic every other week with alternating morning and evening hours. 

Community members may schedule a COVID-19 vaccine booster at Roswell Park by calling 716-845-V4Me (716-845-8463). Advance appointments are required. This phone number is for community members only and should not be used to schedule COVID-19 vaccines or boosters for current Roswell Park patients. 

COVID-19 information

Stay up to date on important COVID-19 information before your visit to Roswell Park.

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