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In a recent study, patients undergoing cancer treatment who received a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine produced antibodies at a slower rate than people without cancer, but most were seropositive after the second dose. The results, published in JAMA Oncology, reinforce the recommendation to prioritize patients with cancer for vaccination against SARS-CoV-2.
The study, conducted in Israel, involved 232 patients with cancer with an average age of 66 years and a healthy, age–matched control group of 261 health care workers, all of whom received Pfizer-BioNTech’s SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.
After the first dose, 84% of the control group was seropositive for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies compared with 29% of the patients with cancer. After the second dose, however, 86% of the patients with cancer were seropositive. Two COVID-19 cases occurred in the patient group immediately after the first dose.
Real-world data are needed to evaluate the vaccine’s long-term efficacy among patients receiving cancer treatment, the investigators wrote.
Slomski A. Most Fully Vaccinated Patients With Cancer Have SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies. JAMA. 2021;326(9):800. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.14707
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