COVID-19 Vaccines and Cancer: Recent Updates
CancerCare is committed to sharing news related to COVID-19 and the coronavirus pandemic to help those living with cancer stay informed.
FDA Approves Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine
On August 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech. While three vaccines—from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson—have been available since early 2021 under emergency use authorization, this is the first vaccine that is fully approved for prevention of COVID-19 in those age 16 and older. Read the press release.
CDC Recommends Third COVID-19 Vaccine Dose for Immunocompromised Individuals
Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommended a third COVID-19 vaccine dose for those who are immunocompromised and who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.
The CDC’s recommendation is for moderately to severely immunocompromised people, including those who have been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood. Read more information from the CDC.
Those receiving additional vaccine doses should do so at least four weeks after receiving a second Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine. Additional doses should be the same type as the original dose (e.g. if a person received two Moderna injections, the third should also be Moderna).
This guidance does not apply to individuals who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.
As with all medical matters, we recommend speaking with your treating health care team to determine whether a third vaccine dose is appropriate for you.