Fast Five Quiz: COVID-19 Vaccines

Glenn Wortmann, MD


October 15, 2021

Patients with cancer should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccination. Even though there is currently a lack of high-quality evidence in patients with cancer, experts from various cancer societies recommend vaccination for these patients or for cancer survivors due to the high risk for COVID-19 in these populations.

It is not known at this time whether COVID-19 vaccines interact with antineoplastic therapies. None of the vaccine trials are enrolling patients who are receiving immunosuppressive therapy, and most require patients to have waited a certain period of time after discontinuation of immunosuppression in order to be eligible for vaccination.

Similarly, there are no data yet confirming the safety or efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines in patients with cancer. Although a small number of patients with cancer were enrolled in vaccine trials for two of the vaccines, the data from these patients were not analyzed separately; therefore, the immunogenicity, safety, efficacy, and duration of protection against the virus are still unknown. Data from postmarketing surveillance and vaccination programs will be needed to provide crucial information about long-term efficacy and adverse events in patients with cancer.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines.

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