If I Have Cancer Now Or Had It In The Past Should I Get A Covid
If you recently received cancer treatment that suppresses the immune systemsuch as chemotherapy, a stem cell;or bone marrow transplant, or cell therapyyour doctor may suggest that you wait until your immune system has recovered before you get vaccinated. Or your doctor may suggest that you wait a few weeks after vaccination to get immunosuppressive treatment.
To help protect people with cancer from COVID-19, it is important that their family members, loved ones, and caregivers get vaccinated.;The COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe disease and death, including from the Delta variant. In areas where the virus is spreading quickly, wearing a mask in public indoor spaces and social distancing will also help protect vulnerable people and prevent the spread of the virus.
Learn more about what people with cancer should know about COVID-19 vaccines. To find a COVID-19 vaccine near you, visit;Vaccines.gov.
Are Both Vaccine Doses Necessary
According to data released on March 12th 2021 the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine provides less protection in cancer patients after a single dose than in healthy individuals but the second dose of the vaccine at three weeks improves protection significantly.
The two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine provides an effective immune response and is safe in people undergoing treatment for certain types of cancer. Compared to individuals without cancer however, people with breast, colon and lung cancers, appear to have a “lagging” immune response to the vaccine.
Israeli researchers compared antibody responses after vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in 232 adults receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer with those of 220 healthy adults. After the first dose, 29% of the cancer patients had detectable antibodies in their blood, compared with 84% of those without the disease and 86% had detectable levels in their blood after the second dose. The researchers, who are monitoring the cancer patients for six months to determine if their immune response declines and a booster dose is needed.25
Pfizer currently recommends 21 days between vaccine doses but because the UK’s vaccine strategy currently involves a 12-week gap between doses doctors were able to assess vaccinated individuals immune response following a single dose.
Do The Vaccines Cause Local Injection Site Side Effects
Immediate injection-site reactions have been observed in 84% of individuals after the first dose and reports suggest that delayed injection-site reactions on or after day 8 occur in ~1% after the second dose. Reactions consist of redness, swelling and tenderness, typically resolve over 4 to 5 days and are due to a delayed-type or T-cellmediated hypersensitivity. Neither local injection-site reactions nor delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions are contraindications to subsequent vaccination.17,18
You May Like: How Long Cvs Covid Test Results
What Don’t We Know About The Vaccines
- Does vaccination protect against asymptomatic cases of COVID-19?
- Does vaccination prevent transmission of COVID-19?
- How long does protection last?
- Until this data is available, its important to remember that getting vaccinated is not a passport to a pre-COVID life. People who are vaccinated still need to wear face masks and practice social distancing.
- We are still learning about potential longer term side effects including blood clots, myocarditis and other forms of inflammation.;
What Do Swollen Lymph Nodes Usually Mean
Swollen lymph nodes can sometimes be a symptom of cancer. But its important to remember that they can have a number of other causes. And while the COVID-19 vaccine appears to only cause swelling on one side, swelling in lymph nodes on both sides of the body is also not necessarily a sign of cancer.
There are additional conditions, too, that Dr. Dean says healthcare providers may look into. We address the issue by taking a very detailed patient history and looking for other conditions that may cause the swelling like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or autoimmune diseases.
And, yes, this includes swelling on just one side. We dont want to miss something because a lymph node on just one side is swollen, she adds. But weve also added questions about recent COVID-19 vaccines to our screening questions to make sure were getting a full view of what might be affecting the patient.
Still, if youre concerned by the appearance of swollen lymph nodes within a day or two after receiving your COVID-19 vaccine, its worth contacting your healthcare provider. With their knowledge of your medical history, they have the necessary context to make a full evaluation.
Don’t Miss: Did Hank Aaron Get Covid Vaccine
December Vaccine Rollout Begins Across The Uk
90-year-old Margaret Keenan has become the first person to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, as mass rollout begins across the UK. BBC News has the latest.
50 hospitals in England have been selected to receive the first doses of the vaccine and deliver the first rounds of the vaccination programme. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are also set to begin their vaccination programmes from hospitals today.
With the first 800,000 doses arriving this week, limited quantities will be available until further doses arrive. To begin, elderly people who are hospital outpatients, as well as those who are being discharged after a stay in hospital, will be among the first to be offered the vaccine. Each individual will require two jabs, administered within 21 days of each other, so the initial 800,000 doses will vaccinate 400,000 people.
Prioritisation groups are based on who has the greatest risk of becoming seriously ill or dying from the virus.
November Experts React To Covid
Like most of us, Cancer Research UK-funded experts have been following the news closely and have called the progress exceptional.
News of an effective COVID vaccine is great to hear. Having a vaccine will make the world safer, which means it will be safer for people with cancer too and it will become much easier for cancer treatments to continue.
We look forward to getting a better understanding of the best time to give the vaccine to cancer patients to give them the best level of protection.
Martin Ledwick, Cancer Research UKs head information nurse
Normal drug or vaccine development would take in the range of 5-10 years, sometimes much longer, so these developments have been extraordinary.
But experts have been keen to emphasise that the rapid turnaround of the COVID-19 vaccines isnt because standards have dropped. In fact, the COVID-19 trials have involved more people than standard vaccine trials and have been able to draw on cutting-edge developments in technology and data analysis.
The extraordinary progress is in part because scientists, governments, industry and academic institutes around the world have turned their focus to this one goal. And to further accelerate development, different phases of vaccine trials and production have overlapped.
Copy this link and share our graphic. Credit: Cancer Research UK.
You can read more about the various COVID-19 vaccines in this piece by journalistTom Chivers, whos taking part inthe Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine trial.
Recommended Reading: How Long Does It Take To Get Covid Test Results From Cvs
Is Any Data Being Collected About The Covid
Data about the use of the COVID-19 vaccines can help us better understand the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19;vaccines for people affected by cancer.
Cancer Australia has established an important clinical study to better understand the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines in people with cancer, including in people with solid tumours and blood malignancies. Monash Health, Victoria have been engaged to develop and implement an Australian clinical trial based on the US National Cancer Institute Serological Sciences Network for COVID-19 framework, which uses innovative technology to examine the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in cancer patients. The study has been called SerOzNET to highlight the unique population it will study. The study is now also recruiting children with cancer aged 12-18 years through the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network.
Rapid implementation of this study will allow timely information to be provided to the Australian cancer community about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines in people with cancer.
For more information about the SerOzNET study, visit www.canceraustralia.gov.au/SerOzNET-Study.
Cancer Australia is also monitoring data on the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines for people affected by cancer from international vaccination programs, and we will provide more information here as it becomes available.
December Progress Of Covid
The development of multiple COVID-19 vaccines over an extraordinary 10-month period has brought up some questions about why there havent been similar transformative leaps in treating cancer.
Cancer is a highly complex disease, with over 200 different types that vary in biology, genetic make-up and behaviour. Not only that, but each persons cancer is unique with its own set of challenges, so its very unlikely there will ever be one single cure that can be applied to everyone.
One of the biggest challenges our researchers face is that cancer can evolve, adapt and diversify and eventually outwit the immune system. For now, COIVD-19 doesnt appear to rapidly change its make-up like cancer. And with COVID-19, researchers have been able to define specific targets that are found on the virus, which makes it much easier to treat than cancer.
Much of the science behind the development of the recent COVID-19 vaccines have been underpinned by previous research to understand the bodys immune system for other diseases, including cancer. And the extraordinary progress of the COVID-19 vaccine is in part because scientists, governments, industry and academic institutes around the world turned their focus to this one goal. To further accelerate development, different phases of vaccine trials and production have overlapped.
Copy this link and share our graphic. Credit: Cancer Research UK.
Read Also: How Long Cvs Covid Test Results
If On Chemotherapy Or Immunotherapy Will Treatment Be Changed In Anyway In Order To Vaccinate
Other than timing, there should be no major changes to your plan of treatment relative to vaccine administration. It is important to note that other measures taken by your treating physician about the safety of administering the vaccine such as blood counts, concern regarding allergic reactions and others should be taken in consideration to decide on timing and appropriateness of vaccination.
How Effective Are The Covid
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines provide strong protection against severe disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 95% effective in its study involving about 43,000 people. The Moderna vaccine was 94% effective in a study involving more than 30,000 people.;The Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine was 85% effective in a study involving more than 44,000 people.;
These impressive results hold true as over 168 million Americans have been fully vaccinated .
Read Also: How Long Do Cvs Covid Tests Take
What Are The Side Effects Of The Vaccines
Common side effects that have been reported after getting the vaccines include:
- Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site
- Feeling tired
- Muscle and joint pain
For the vaccines that require two shots, the side effects might be a little stronger after the second shot compared to what you might have had after the first injection. In general,;the side effects tend to go away within a few days.
Are There Any Treatments Available For Covid
There are no cures for COVID-19. Scientists continue to work hard to develop and test treatments for COVID-19. Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. Clinical trials for potential COVID-19 treatments are now open in many locations in the United States and in other countries. If you have been diagnosed with the coronavirus disease and you join a clinical trial for patients with COVID-19, you may be able to receive these medications. Also, by joining a clinical trial, your participation will help scientists find the most effective and safe treatment for the illness. The NCI COVID-19 in Cancer Patients Study ;and a study at Stanford, for example, are designed to collect symptoms from people who may have COVID-19 to help researchers learn the course of the disease and help find a treatment. ;
For people with cancer and COVID-19 that is not severe, monoclonal antibodies may be helpful in reducing the chances that the illness becomes severe and reducing the need for hospitalization. The combination of casirivimab and imdevimab were given FDA emergency use authorization on November 21, 2020, for the treatment of mild or moderate COVID-19 in patients who are at high risk for developing more severe disease. This antibody combination is given intravenously as a single 1,200 mg infusion. Sotrovimab received emergency use authorization for use in mild to moderate COVID-19 in people age 12 and older who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19.
Recommended Reading: How Long Cvs Covid Test Results
Is There Any Indication That People With Cancer/cancer Survivors Are Choosing Not To Get Vaccinated
Thats hard to know right now. Cancer patients are just starting to get these vaccines, due to challenges in the supply chain. I think some cancer patients will be hesitant, but not necessarily more so than the general population. We hope that they are more accepting of vaccines because they know theyre at risk .
I can say that locally, in institutions, cancer patients are clamoring to get the vaccine. Physicians are feeling challenged because theyre getting so many calls from their patients to ask when it will be available and when can they get it. The patients know the risk, and they see it as an opportunity to protect themselves. Thats great to see, and I hope it continues.
What Are The Side Effects Of Covid
The Radiology: Imaging Cancer article authors said the most common COVID-19 vaccine side effects include local injection site pain, fever, chills, myalgias, headache and fatigue, with resolution usually in a few days.;
There are three COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use, the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines and the most recently authorized single dose Johnson and Johnson/Janssen adenovirus vector vaccine. Several other vaccines are in development or being distributed in other countries including those developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca , Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology , and the CanSinoBIO-Beijing Institute of Biotechnology . Through March 26, 2021, 526 million doses of vaccines have been distributed across the world.
Recommended Reading: How Long Cvs Covid Test Results
How Do The Vaccines Work Will The Mrna Vaccines Change My Dna
Three COVID-19 vaccines are currently available in the United States:
Pfizer BioNTech vaccine
Johnson & Johnson ;vaccine
COVID vaccines work by teaching the bodys immune system how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19, and this protects you from getting sick with COVID-19 infection. All have been shown to be effective at both lowering the risk of getting COVID-19 and lowering the risk of getting severe disease if you are infected.
The Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines contain messenger RNA . mRNA is a type of genetic material from the COVID-19 virus that gives our cells instructions for how to make a harmless protein that is unique to the virus. After receiving the vaccine, the mRNA enters cells in the body and tells them to make copies of the COVID-19 viruss spike protein, which normally helps the virus infect human cells. This doesnt cause disease, but it helps teach the immune system to recognize and act against the virus if the body is exposed to it in the future. The mRNA from a COVID-19 vaccine does not enter the nucleus of the cell, which is where our DNA is kept. This means the mRNA cannot affect or interact with our DNA in any way.
Why Are 2 Shots Needed For Some Of The Vaccines
The COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are 2-dose vaccines, and both doses are recommended to ensure the best protection against COVID-19. The first shot primes the bodys immune system, helping it recognize the virus, and the second shot, given several weeks later, strengthens the response from the immune system.
You May Like: Cvs Test Result Time
July New Data On The Effectiveness Of Covid
Last week, Public Health England from a study which suggests that COVID-19 vaccines may be almost as effective at preventing symptomatic disease in people with underlying health conditions as they are in the rest of the population.
The study, which included 1 million people with underlying health conditions, found that vaccine effectiveness was lower in people who were immunocompromised but was still considered to be high at around 74% after two doses, compared to approximately 85% in people without a compromised immune system. This rises from 4% after a single dose, indicating the importance of a second jab.
Effectiveness of the vaccine will likely vary for different people depending on their individual circumstances and the statement from PHE highlights that some people may not respond as well to the vaccines. Although the study findings are encouraging, more data is needed to understand vaccine effectiveness for different groups.
November Final Results From Modernaconfirm Vaccine Is 94% Effective
The final results from Modernas vaccine trials have confirmed that their vaccine showed94% efficacyagainstCOVID-19, and nobody who received the vaccination developed a severe case of the virus. The latest news has initiated an approval process with regulators around the world who will study the trial data for the vaccine and decide if the data on its safety and effectiveness are robust enough to be recommend for roll out.
The UK has now bought 7 million doses of the vaccine,which are expected to arrive in the UK in March.On top of that, the UK has pre-ordered 40 million of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 100million of the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine.Full trial data has not yet been released but you can read more about the Moderna vaccine at BBC News and The Guardian.
You May Like: How Long Cvs Covid Test Results