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.
What Are Possible Side Effects From The Vaccines
Some people may have mild side effects in the days after getting their vaccine. Side effects may be worse after your second dose. Most side effects will go away on their own.
The most common side effects from the vaccines are:16,24,26,27,28,37,38,39
- Pain, discolouration, redness or swelling in your arm where the needle was given
- Swollen glands can happen for a few days after getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Talk to your cancer care team if this lasts for more than a few days.
If side effects last for more than 2-3 days, make sure you speak to your health care team.24,26,40,41,42
After you get the COVID-19 vaccine, wait for at least 15 minutes before going home. This wait is to check for side effects or an allergic reaction.
May Initial Data Show Cancer Patients Have High Protection After Second Dose Of Vaccine
New research, awaiting independent review by other scientists but covered in the media, has examined the immune protection of over 8,000 people after both doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines. The study included 881 volunteers who had been diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, 74 with blood cancer.
Researchers at University College London and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found that a high proportion of volunteers had a positive response to the vaccine after receiving 2 doses, including those who had been diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.
Despite this, the researchers note that in between their first and second dose, fewer cancer patients and those on immunosuppressive treatments including radiotherapy, chemotherapy or following an organ transplant showed an immune response and that caution is still required until both doses are given.
The data doesnt show whether responses were different in people who have cancer now compared with those who had it years ago.If you have any questions about the vaccine, please speak to your specialist or contact your GP.
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Does My Cancer Treatment Affect Whether I Can Get The Vaccine The University Health Network Is A Healthcare And Medical Research Organization In Toronto They Have Provided More Information On The Covid
People getting chemotherapy can get the COVID-19 vaccine. But because chemotherapy suppresses your immune response, it may reduce how well the vaccine works. Your oncologist may adjust your treatment to allow the vaccine to work better. Talk to your oncologist about the vaccine and your treatment plan.
Currently, 4 vaccines are authorized for use in Canada. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are approved for people 12 years of age and older. The AstraZeneca and Janssen COVID-19 vaccines are approved for people 18 years of age and older.
There are 2 types of approved COVID-19 vaccines: mRNA vaccines and viral vector-based vaccines. Neither vaccine type uses the live virus that causes COVID-19.
COVID-19 mRNA vaccines teach our cells how to make the spike protein on the COVID-19 virus that will trigger an immune response. Once triggered, our body then makes antibodies to help fight the infection if the real virus enters our body in the future. Find out more about mRNA vaccines for COVID-19.
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are both mRNA vaccines. The AstraZeneca and Janssen COVID-19 vaccines are both viral vector-based vaccines for COVID-19. Talk to your healthcare team about which vaccine is best for you.
July Vaccine Booster Programme Recommended In Interim Advice
The NHS has been advised by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation that booster vaccines will help maintain protection against COVID-19, and new variants of the virus, for those most at risk.
The interim advice recommends that the first stage of a booster vaccination programme, beginning September 2021, is offered to the following groups:
- Adults aged 16 years and over who are immunosuppressed
- Those living in residential care homes for older adults
- All adults aged 70 years or over
- Adults aged 16 years and over who are considered clinically extremely vulnerable
- Frontline health and social care workers
As far as we are aware, the definitions of these groups have not changed, but we will update if we get any further information on priority groups.
The JCVI says it will publish final plans before September and that the advice may change substantially based on data from the next few months.
The primary objective of any potential COVID-19 booster vaccine programme should be to reduce serious disease, including death, said Professor Wei Shen Lim, COVID-19 Chair for JCVI. We will continue to review emerging scientific data over the next few months, including data relating to the duration of immunity from the current vaccines. Our final advice on booster vaccination may change substantially.
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Will The Vaccine Stop Me Getting Coronavirus
Most people who receive two doses of any of the COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK will be protected against severe illness from coronavirus. But you may not be protected until at least seven days after your second injection. And we dont yet know how long the vaccines work for.
As with any vaccine, there is still a small risk of catching the virus afterwards but the symptoms should be less severe.
Will it work if Im having chemotherapy?
We dont yet know how well the vaccines work in people with a weak immune system, including men having chemotherapy to treat prostate cancer. This is because the vaccines have only been tested in a small number of people having chemotherapy or other medicines that weaken the immune system.
A recent study suggests the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine may not give people with cancer as much protection against coronavirus as it does in healthy people. This includes people with cancer who aren’t having chemotherapy.
But it’s important to remember that this was just one study, involving a small number of people. We need more research before we can know for certain how well the vaccine works in people with cancer. Even if the vaccine doesnt give full protection in some people, it may still be better than not having it at all.
What Are The Vaccines Side Effects
The most common side effects reported in the clinical trials were pain at the injection site, fatigue, and fever. Serious side effects have been rare but may include blood clots in women of childbearing age and myocarditis in younger individuals. Reported side effects of the vaccines include:
· Injection site pain
· Swollen lymph nodes
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September National Covid Cancer Survey Launched
A National COVID Cancer Antibody Survey launched this September. The survey will assess antibody responses to the COVID-19 vaccines among people with cancer and is open for recruitment now.
The study aims to understand antibody levels in people with cancer and what this means for protection against COVID-19. It could also help doctors to provide the best treatment, care and support for people with cancer.
There are 10,000 places on this study and the NHS will be asking people to join over the next 2 to 3 months. If you live in England and have either been diagnosed with cancer in the last year or are having cancer treatment, you can enroll in the survey.
Find out more about the study on our website. You can sign up to the study on the COVID cancer survey website:
Update: We have been made aware of an issue with signing up to the survey on the website. We have been told that you should ignore the text which asks you not to continue if you are not working, and that you still qualify for an antibody test, regardless of your employment status. If you answer the question regarding employment and click continue, you can still book your test. The issue is being looked into and will be fixed imminently.
Update : The website hosting the survey is experiencing a technical issue that means no one can complete the request for a kit. The team are working on the issue and will update the covidcancersurvey.uk website as soon as its fixed.
What Is Known About The Risk Of Myocarditis And Covid Vaccination
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to add a warning to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions fact sheet about the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis following the second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine.
Myocarditis is characterized as inflammation of the heart muscle. Pericarditis is inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart. Symptoms may include chest pain, shortness of breath and heart palpitations. Individuals developing myocarditis are typically under age 30 and symptoms appear 4-8 days after vaccination, more commonly after the second dose of the mRNA vaccine.
The CDC says 323 cases of heart inflammation have been confirmed after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. More than 250 possible cases are still being investigated. According to the voluntary, self-reporting Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, the rate of myocarditis among adolescents 12 through 17 who received a COVID-19 vaccine was 1.8 per 100,000. For boys, it was 3.2 per 100,000. Higher rates of myocarditis have not been reported in individuals receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which does not use the mRNA technology.
Vaccination may also prevent long-term symptoms, and a hyper-inflammatory condition called MIS-C, which strikes an estimated 1 of every 3,200 children infected with SARS-CoV-2 .
For more information visit the CDC and VAERS website.
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Myth: The Vaccines Arent Safe For People Who Are Pregnant Or Are Trying To Get Pregnant
Truth: The CDC notes that pregnant women are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. On August 11, 2021, the CDC recommended that pregnant people be vaccinated, based on the agencys review of recent vaccine safety data. This new guidance follows a previous recommendation from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists .
What Groups Of People With Cancer Are Most At Risk
The following groups of people with cancer have an even higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. Those who:
- Are 65 years or older8
- Have had a stem cell transplant in the last 6 months9
- Are getting or have recently stopped having cancer treatments10
- Have been diagnosed with cancer in the last year1
- Have cancers of the blood like leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma3,11,12,13
- Have lung cancer3,12,13,14
- Have cancer that has spread to another area of the body 2
- Have had cancer surgery within the last 2 months2,14
If you are in one of the above groups, you must be extra careful to protect yourself from getting COVID-19.
Stay away from crowds and indoor settings where you are not sure if others have been vaccinated, such as concerts, places of worship, and gyms.
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Can Persons With Active Cancer Be Vaccinated
Persons with active cancer who are on treatment with chemotherapy, radiotherapy or immunotherapy CAN be vaccinated in a hospital setting, after assessment by their treating specialists.
Based on the experts advice, active cancer on treatment can be defined as:
- Individuals have undergone treatment in the past three months
- Individuals have planned to undergo in the next two months
Persons with a history of cancer, who are in remission, CAN be vaccinated.
Persons on active cancer hormonal therapy CAN be vaccinated.
The Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination will be finalising the guidelines on vaccination for cancer patients on treatment, including those who consult private specialists, and will provide further updates when ready.
Should People With Cancer Get A Specific Covid
As mentioned in Which COVID-19 vaccines are available?, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are mRNA vaccines, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is an adenovirus vaccine. The main difference between them at this time is that the mRNA vaccines are given as two shots over 3 to 4 weeks , while the adenovirus vaccine is given as a single shot.
These vaccines have been studied in different places and at different times, and there havent been any studies directly comparing the different vaccines. Because of this, its not clear if any one of the vaccines is safer or more effective than any of the others. Its also not yet clear if any of the vaccines will be more effective against some of the new variants of COVID-19 that have appeared in recent months. This is now being studied, as is the possibility of needing booster shots in the future to help protect against these variants.
All three of the vaccines now available have been shown to be effective at both lowering the risk of getting COVID-19, as well as the risk of getting severe disease if you are infected.
At this time, most major medical organizations haven’t recommended getting one type of COVID vaccine over another, either for cancer patients or for other people. Many health experts believe that getting the vaccine once it becomes available to you, whichever one it is, is most important, rather than waiting to get a specific vaccine.
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How Do I Know That The Vaccines Are Safe
All vaccines in Canada meet very strict safety and efficacy standards before they are approved for use.16 Health Canada has one of the most careful review processes in the world.
- Were tested on thousands of people and have been given to millions of people across the world
- Have met all the requirements for approval, including safety
- Will continue to be watched for any issues as they are used across the world
The COVID-19 vaccines are safe for people with cancer.16,17,18 People with cancer should get fully vaccinated as soon as possible to avoid getting very sick from COVID-19.
What Is The Booster Vaccine
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised that a booster programme begins in September 2021. This means that people most at risk of COVID-19 have an extra injection of the vaccine. This will help to continue protection against COVID-19 during the winter months.
The JCVI advises the booster jab because of concerns that immunity against the virus might become less over time.
The people most at risk include priority groups 1 to 9. These groups had their vaccine during the first phase of the vaccine programme last year.
JCVI has expanded the list. It also includes adult household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals.
The booster programme will happen in 2 stages and include the following groups:
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And Here It Comes The Claim That Covid
I did forget one common antivaccine claim, though. Its one that I hadnt yet seen about the COVID-19 vaccine, even though its a claim that dates back decades about early versions of the polio vaccine used in the late 1950s and early 1960s, namely that vaccines cause cancer. You remember that hoary old claim, dont you, that because early versions of the polio vaccine were contaminated with a virus , those polio vaccines given to children over 60 years ago are responsible for a wave of cancer over the last two decades. I discussed in my inimitable detail how that claim was investigated and found to have no scientific basis way back in 2013. Now that claim has been repurposed for the COVID-19 vaccine. No, antivaxxers are not claiming that the COVID-19 vaccines by Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech, or Johnson & Johnson are contaminated with SV40. Rather, they are focusing their false claim that COVID-19 vaccines will cause a wave of cancer in decades to come on the mRNA-based design of these vaccines and a cherry picked study from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center from 2018 . I havent seen this claim widely disseminated , but as a trained molecular biologist I thought Id try to nip it in the bud before it grows too much.
Lets start with this Tweet:
Could The Vaccine Cause Issues If Im Getting A Mammogram
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine might result in swollen lymph nodes under the arm in which the injection was given.
Swollen lymph nodes under the arm might show up on a mammogram done to screen for breast cancer, which could cause concern and might lead to the need for further tests.
If youre scheduled for a mammogram soon after you get a COVID-19 vaccine, its important to tell your doctor when and in which arm you received the injection. Based on your situation, they can discuss with you if you should change your mammogram appointment. Do not delay your mammogram without speaking to your doctor first.
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Are Doctors Recommending Vaccination To All Cancer Patients
Having cancer regardless of treatment status is a risk factor for worse outcome from infections including influenza and COVID-19. The short answer is yes once COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available. In terms of prioritization, and according to CDC guidelines, cancer patients will be part of the phase II wave of vaccination which will occur sometime in February. The vaccine is given in 2 doses at 21 days interval and we expect patients receiving the vaccine to be immune 2-3 weeks after their second dose of vaccine.