Oncology patients are at greater risk of morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 infection than the general population. Patients with malignancies were prioritized in vaccine distribution, to confer protection to a highly vulnerable population. Yet, immunocompromised patients were not included in COVID-19 vaccine trials. Will oncology patients mount an adequate serologic response to vaccination to be protected from COVID-19 infection? Overall, oncology patients had less response to the COVID-19 vaccines than healthy patients. The patients with the lowest seroconversion rates were those who received anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody therapy, Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors, stem cell transplantation, and chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy. Although their response may not be robust, expert organizations recommend that oncology patients should pursue COVID-19 vaccination and an additional mRNA vaccine booster to ensure some degree of protection from infection. Immunocompromised patients should continue to practice mask wearing, social distancing, and proper hand hygiene to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19.
La Costa R. COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness in Oncology Patients. Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science. 2021; 4(1).
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