New Information for MSK Patients Seeking the Vaccine

Woman looking at a vaccine

Gloria Liriano, a pharmacy technician, prepares a COVID-19 vaccine.

I received a notice from MSK that I am eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine and have taken the Vaccine Interest Survey on MyMSK.  But when I try to schedule an appointment, there are no appointments available.  What can I do?

The number of vaccine appointments we can offer is based on our vaccine supply, which is determined by New York State and New York City. Because our supply of vaccines is limited, we may not always have an appointment at the time or in the location where you’d like to be vaccinated.  

This is why you should take advantage of any opening to schedule an appointment wherever one is available, as soon as it’s available. There are many more appointments available at our main vaccine clinic in New York City than there are at our regional locations at MSK Westchester or MSK Nassau.  

Also, we’re offering valet service for convenient parking at our main vaccination clinic, which is located at the David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care, 530 East 74th Street in New York City.

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If I can’t book an appointment now, how will I know when more appointments become available?

We add appointments when we receive more vaccine supply from New York State.  Every week, we request an allocation from New York State. So you should keep checking back to the self-scheduling site on the Engage section of MyMSK. In addition, you have the option to receive text messages about appointment availability when you complete the COVID-19 Vaccine Interest Survey on MyMSK. 

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Do I have to get both doses of the vaccine at the same location?

Yes. You must receive your second dose of the vaccine at the same location where you received your first dose.

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If I live outside of New York State, but am a Memorial Sloan Kettering patient, can I be vaccinated at MSK?

MSK must follow New York State and New York City rules for vaccine distribution. At this time, MSK has received an allocation of vaccine from New York State, but this allocation of vaccine can only be used to vaccinate eligible healthcare workers and MSK patients who live in New York State.

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I am an MSK patient and I have received care at an MSK facility in New Jersey. Can I get a COVID-19 vaccination there?

MSK has requested vaccine supply from the New Jersey Department of Health, but to date, this request has not yet been granted. MSK continues to advocate at all levels of government to receive vaccine in New Jersey so that we can offer it to our patients who are New Jersey residents. At this time, MSK sites in New Jersey cannot vaccinate patients.

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I am an MSK patient living in New Jersey. Do I need proof from my doctor that I am being treated for cancer in order to get the vaccine?

No. To get vaccinated in New Jersey, no professional or medical documentation is required to show that you have an eligible medical condition. For more information about where and how to get vaccinated in New Jersey, you can refer to this link:

COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Patients
Learn what you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccines if you are an MSK patient.
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My home state or local vaccination site requires proof that I have been treated for cancer in order for me to get the vaccine. What should I do?

Please refer to your state or local Department of Health website for the very latest information about what your state or vaccination site requires.

To verify current or past treatment at MSK, please download the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Documentation, found in the profile section of our patient portal, MyMSK. This form will include your name, date of birth, and confirmation that you are or have been treated for cancer at MSK. It can be printed securely by any MSK cancer patient who needs it. You do not need to call your doctor’s office.

If you don’t already have a MyMSK account, please register now by visiting Here is a video with instructions on how to enroll.

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What do I need if I want to be vaccinated in New York State?

To get vaccinated in New York State (excluding New York City), you must be a New York State resident. You may present any of the following to verify that you qualify for the vaccine:

  • signed certification form (available on location at vaccination sites)
  • medical information proving comorbidity
  • doctor’s letter
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I live in New York City. How can I get proof that I’m an MSK patient eligible to receive the vaccine?

If you are going to be vaccinated in New York City but not at MSK, you can use this form: NYC Certification of Eligibility for COVID-19 Vaccine Due to Medical Condition. New York City vaccination sites will accept this form as evidence you’re eligible based on a medical condition.

To get vaccinated at MSK, you do not need to use this form. We will rely on your MSK medical record instead.

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Why is COVID-19 vaccine distribution set up this way?

The federal government provides vaccine allocations directly to states. Each state determines how that vaccine will be distributed within the state. While this enables states to create a system that best meets the needs of their populations, it also creates differences from state to state. For example, MSK’s New Jersey facilities are subject to the New Jersey vaccine distribution rules; MSK’s New York State facilities are subject to the New York State vaccine distribution rules.

February 23, 2021

Additional Resources

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