Cancer patients are less protected from Covid 19 after just one dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, a research study by Kings College London and the Francis Crick Institute suggests.
A 12-week wait for the second dose could leave them vulnerable, while an early second dose appears to boost cancer patients’ protection to 95%.
There are fears that other vaccines requiring a second jab could present a similar problem.
Cancer treatments can seriously affect a patient’s immune system and the second vaccine dose must therefore be given quickly.
Prof Adrian Hayday, the study author from King’s College London and the Francis Crick Institute stated: “The vaccine is very impressive in its impact on healthy individuals and our study shows that it can clearly bring immense benefit to cancer patients too, but in most cases, this is only after boosting.” Caring Cancer Trust joins the study’s senior authors Dr Sheeba Irshad and Professor Adrian Hayday in their call for there to be an
urgent re-evaluation of UK policy for the dosing interval for this vaccine for all cancer patients, and likewise for many other high-risk groups of patients with immune systems that have been compromised.
Patients with blood cancers like Childhood Leukaemia take much longer than patients with solid tumours for their immune system to recover from Covid-19.
‘’Our experience with children recovering from Cancer is that their immune systems are very weak indeed. A second jab within three weeks will enable them to get back to school quickly and not continue to shield indefinitely,’’ said Teacher Shaheen Khan-Jones, the Managing Party Leader of the charity’s Youth2Go Creative Adventure Holidays for Children recovering from Cancer.
Professor Ian Hampson comments “Although the King’s College/Francis Crick Institute study is not large, it does indicate the potential benefit of an early second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. Furthermore, although leukaemia is the most common children’s cancer, there are approximately only 600 cases/yr in the UK. Thus, assuming no adverse events, early second dose vaccination of these children, would clearly have a negligible impact on the national vaccination program and could provide much-needed protection against Covid-19 for all Cancer patients.”
Delay in second jab could leave cancer patients with insufficient immunity
Examining how Covid-19 affects people with
Author: Ian MacWatt
Keywords: Cancer, Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, Coronavirus, Covid-19, Francis Crick Institute, King’s College London, Leukaemia, Youth2Go Creative Adventure, immune system.