Feb 18, 2021 2:00 PM

People with cancer are at increased risk of illness and death from the COVID-19 virus. Huntsman Cancer Institute is among many cancer centers and organizations nationwide urging government leaders and health departments to prioritize access to COVID-19 vaccines for people with cancer and survivors of cancer.

We are very pleased to share that the state of Utah expects to receive 1.2 million more doses of COVID-19 vaccine very soon. This will expand the number of people currently eligible to get the vaccine, including many Huntsman Cancer Institute patients, starting March 2021.

The expanded group includes the following:

  • Anyone over the age of 65
  • People 18 years or older diagnosed with any type of cancer in the last year (excludes basal or squamous cell skin cancers) or with metastatic disease*
  • People 18 years or older diagnosed with a hematologic cancer (leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma) in the last five years
  • Some people taking immunosuppression therapy or with weakened immune systems^

*Recommended by Huntsman Cancer Institute oncologists.

^If you recently had a stem cell transplant, CAR T-cell therapy, immunosuppressive therapy, or aggressive chemotherapy or if you are on a clinical trial, please talk to your oncologist about the best time for you to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Utah Department of Health officials are working on how to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. Appointments will be available to the expanded group of eligible people starting in March at local health departments and the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership Program, which includes Smith’s and WalMart pharmacies. COVID-19 vaccine appointments will also be available at health systems and hospitals, including University of Utah Health. For the most up-to-date information, visit https://coronavirus.utah.gov/vaccine.

National cancer experts, including Huntsman Cancer Institute providers, know the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective for the vast majority of our patients. If you haven’t yet received the COVID-19 vaccine, we recommend getting the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to you, either from your local health department or health care system.

More Resources
Coronavirus: What People with Cancer Should Know (National Cancer Institute)
Coronavirus Vaccines and People with Cancer: A Q&A (National Cancer Institute)

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