NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center sites in New Jersey have not yet received COVID-19 vaccines from the Department of Health.

As CBS2’s Meg Baker reported Wednesday, advocates and patients are now calling on the state for help.

“I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in September of 2019,” Highland Park resident Darcie Cimarusti said.

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Cimarusti is a patient with Memorial Sloan Kettering, both in New York City and New Jersey. But as explained on the hospital’s website, the New York locations are offering vaccinations to New York residents only, and the New Jersey sites have not been granted vaccines from the state health department.

“We should be trying to limit the exposure for the patients who are the most vulnerable,” Cimarusti said.


The health department says cancer patients are eligible to be vaccinated at the state’s 300 vaccination sites, but Cimarusti had some bad reactions to treatment so she is nervous about the vaccine.

“I don’t want to have it in a Rite Aid. I want to have it at Sloan with my treatment team who knows me and cares for me,” Cimarusti said.


Republican state Sen. Kristin Corrado is calling on Gov. Phil Murphy to prioritize cancer patients and open up vaccinations to the hospitals where they are going for chemotherapy and radiation.

“Why would we put them at additional risk and what makes it more frustrating is before even offering vaccines to cancer patients, the state of New Jersey back in December started vaccinating prisoners. They got priority over everyone in our state,” Corrado said.

The health department said specialty hospitals like Memorial Sloan Kettering are in line to become a point of dispensing when vaccine supply increases.

CBS2’s Meg Baker contributed to this report

CBSNewYork Team