Practice Matters

COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness in Oncology Patients

Rachel La Costa, MPAS, PA-C

From UC San Diego Health, San Diego, California

Author’s disclosure of conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.

Correspondence to: Rachel La Costa, MPAS, PA-C, 3855 Health Sciences Drive, La Jolla, CA 92037 E-mail: rachelmlacosta@gmail.com


J Adv Pract Oncol 2022;13(4):441–447 | https://doi.org/10.6004/jadpro.2022.13.4.6 | © 2022 Harborside™


  

ABSTRACT

Oncology patients are at greater risk of morbidity and mortality from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection than the general population. Patients with malignancies were prioritized in vaccine distribution to confer protection to a vulnerable population. However, immunocompromised patients were not included in the initial COVID-19 vaccine trials. Will patients with cancer mount an adequate serologic response to vaccination to be protected from COVID-19 infection? Overall, oncology patients had diminished antibody response to the COVID-19 vaccines compared with healthy patients. The patients with the lowest seroconversion rates were those who received anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody therapy, Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy, stem cell transplantation, and chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy. Although the response may not be robust, expert organizations strongly recommend that oncology patients should pursue COVID-19 vaccination and 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.




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