Clinical opinions / 26 Feb, 2021

The COVID-19 vaccine and cancer patients Q&A

Icon Writers

Facebook Live with Dr Ian Irving and Dr John Bashford

Icon Director of Research Dr John Bashford recently appeared live on the Icon Cancer Centre Facebook page alongside Icon Medical Director Dr Ian Irving, where they answered questions about COVID-19 vaccination for cancer patients and immunosuppressed persons.

Throughout the video, Dr Bashford and Dr Irving answered a variety of questions from our patients, including:

  • 6.12 – The TGA have now approved two different COVID-19 vaccines – the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines. Can you explain the difference between these two vaccines and the clinical trials that they’ve gone through to gain TGA approval?
  • 8.58 – How many doses do the COVID-19 vaccines take to become effective?
  • 10.54 – The COVID-19 vaccine has been developed in record time in relation to other vaccines throughout history. Has the process been rushed and how safe is the COVID-19 vaccine?
  • 14.40 – For patients with cancer, is one vaccine better than the other?
  • 17.55 – The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine involves chimpanzee adenovirus. Can this replicate inside humans and cause the virus?
  • 19.30 – We know that live vaccines can be contraindicated in cancer patients with haematological disorders, for example leukaemia, lymphoma or patients who have undergone stem cell transplants. Is the COVID-19 vaccine a live attenuated vaccine?
  • 20.28 – What side effects can cancer patients expect from the COVID-19 vaccine? Can you get raised lymph nodes from the COVID-19 vaccine?
  • 23.59 – Can you tell us about the COVID-19 roll-out and what the timeframe will be for Group 1B, which will involve cancer patients?
    What is Group 1B and does it include patients undergoing active treatment as well as patients with a history of cancer treatment?
  • 30.07 – Where will COVID-19 vaccinations take place?
  • 32.30 – Should people with lymphoma who are immunosuppressed have the COVID-19 vaccine?
  • 35.40 – Can people on immunotherapy treatment have the COVID-19 vaccine?
  • 37.48 – Should I have the COVID-19 vaccination on the same day as my treatment?
  • 38.27 – When should I have the COVID-19 vaccination during my chemotherapy cycle?
  • 39.00 – If I have one type of COVID-19 vaccine, does the second follow up dose of vaccine need to be the same type?
  • 40.10 – I am aged 68 years old. Is the vaccine safe for me? Will the immune response be strong enough in older patients?
  • 43.40 – I have terminal cancer. Will that be treated differently? Should patients who are terminally ill or having palliative care have the COVID-19 vaccine?
  • 45.24 – Can I have the COVID-19 vaccine if I am having radiation therapy?
  • 47.29 – Can I have the COVID-19 if I am having targeted therapy for cancer?
  • 48.42 – Once we have the COVID-19 vaccination underway and a lot of people have been vaccinated, will we still have social distancing rules? Will life go back to normal?
  • 55.23 – Are there situations where people shouldn’t have the COVID-19 vaccine at all, for example people having bone marrow transplants?
  • 57.30 – Can I have the COVID-19 vaccine if I am on a clinical trial?
  • 58.25 – Can I have the influenza vaccine at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine?
  • 59.30 – If you have been vaccinated against COVID 19, could you still be a carrier and be asymptomatically spreading the COVID-19 virus?

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