COVID-19 vaccines for patients with cancer: benefits likely outweigh risks.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

Less than a year since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, ten vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 have been approved for at least limited use, with over sixty others in clinical trials. This swift achievement has generated excitement and arrives at a time of great need, as the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide continues to rapidly increase. Two vaccines are currently approved for full use, both built on mRNA and lipid nanotechnology platforms, a success story of mRNA technology 20 years in the making. For patients with cancer, questions arise around the safety and efficacy of these vaccines in the setting of immune alterations engendered by their malignancy and/or therapies. We summarize the current data on leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates and vaccination of patients undergoing immunomodulatory cancer treatments. Most current cancer therapeutics should not prevent the generation of protective immunity. We call for more research in this area and recommend that the majority of patients with cancer receive COVID vaccinations when possible.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Hwang, JK; Zhang, T; Wang, AZ; Li, Z

Published Date

  • February 27, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 38 -

PubMed ID

  • 33640005

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7910769

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1756-8722

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1186/s13045-021-01046-w


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England