Covid-19, Cancer and Vaccination

covid 19 vaccination for cancer patients bangalore

When one has cancer, can covid vaccine be taken?

  • COVID-19 vaccination is being recommended for all people with cancer and blood malignancies. It should be taken as long as components of the vaccine suit the patient. It must be taken even though during cancer treatment, immunity can be down. It should be taken since the risk of getting the covid-19 infection in cancer patients is far higher compared to the one without cancer. However, the following things should be followed.
  • Should not be taken if it does not suit the body (e.g., known allergic reaction, which is a contraindication).
  • There could be an unknown safety situation which can rarely cause a problem.
  • Effectiveness may not be as much as in the general population due to a less immune reaction. Vaccine benefits to the patient may be slightly less and also decreases the severity of covid-19 infection if it happens.

When to start?

  • Any type of presently available vaccine as soon as available.
  • Wait a few days to be vaccinated when planning to undergo major surgery.
  • Ideally best to vaccinate before treatment, optimally 2 weeks before the start of chemotherapy.
  • With radiotherapy, you can start anytime.

When undergoing cancer treatment, can the vaccine against covid be taken?

  • The vaccine is generally recommended for most patients undergoing cancer treatment.
  • Please discuss with your oncologists about the strategies of giving vaccines between cycles of chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. It is recommended to take any of the available vaccines as long as the blood counts are acceptable. 

With the covid-19 vaccination, will there be a change in the planned treatment? 

  • No, there is no change in the schedule of cancer therapy.
  • Vaccination can be recommended one week from the start of the chemotherapy cycle.
  • If someone gets infected with covid infection along with chemotherapy/immunotherapy then the toxicities and reactions can be severe, which is why covid-19 vaccination is important.

How long does the immunity last?

  • Expected to be immune 2-3 weeks after the second dose of vaccine.
  • It appears to be effective beyond six months, and further data is awaited.

Can the persons recovered from cancer be vaccinated against covid-19?

  • It should be taken as long as components of the vaccine suit the patient.

Who should not be vaccinated?

  • When there is a history of allergy to components of the vaccine, the Covid-19 vaccine should not be given.

What are the concerns of vaccination?

  • One concern is uncertainty in the level of effectiveness of vaccination when immunity comes down during treatment. However, any level of effectiveness is better than status without covid-19 vaccination.
  • Lymphoma patients can have lower vaccine responses. We do not know precisely the efficacy of the COVID vaccine for lymphoma when on active treatment. Again, any level of effectiveness is better than status without vaccination. 
  • Despite the vaccination, it is ESSENTIAL to continue the practice of wearing a mask, social distancing, and maintaining hand hygiene. 

Which type of vaccine is better with cancer therapy?

  • Presently, no data is available about the differences in the type of vaccine along with cancer therapy. 

Is the Covid-19 vaccine safe in Bone Marrow Transplants?

  • Covid-19 vaccination is recommended at least two to four weeks before the planned transplant.
  • Most recommend delaying all vaccines for at least three months following stem cell or bone marrow transplant.

Is it possible that the vaccine does not give the intended protection against covid -19?

  • If your immune system is extremely weak then the vaccine may not work as effectively as it should do. 

What are the vaccine’s side effects?

  • Serious side effects are rare, and compared to the benefit of protection, it would be negligible.
  • Common side effects are pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, and fever. Chills, joint pain, nausea, injection site redness and swelling, swollen lymph nodes, possible.

What about mixing different types of vaccines?

  • No evidence that this makes any difference.

Can the vaccine cause covid illness?

  • No. There is no active infectious virus in the vaccine. 
  • Vaccines can also stop the spread of the virus.

Can one get ill with Covid-19 after vaccination?

  • Possible, but the good news is that it is likely to be less severe and may avoid hospitalization with presently prevalent variants of coronavirus. 

Cancer Therapy India is known as the best oncology hospital in Bangalore, having a multidisciplinary team of cancer experts that offer covid 19 vaccination for cancer patients in  Bangalore and other therapies, to help keep you strong during and after the cancer treatment. 

Cancer Therapy India is one of the best cancer treatment hospital in Bangalore, offering the best health care services and treatments for numerous cancer conditions. With a team of the best cancer specialist in Bangalore and state-of-the-art facilities, we provide you with accurate diagnoses and treatments for all your cancer conditions.