Do people who’ve been treated for cancers like breast or prostate need to worry about their response to Covid vaccines?Elizabeth Tracey reports

February 7, 2022

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Are Covid-19 vaccines still effective in people who’ve undergone treatment for so-called solid organ cancers, such as breast or prostate? The answer seems to be yes, based on a recent study looking at antibody levels to the virus’s spike protein after vaccination in those so treated. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, describes the data.

Nelson: About 15% already had, before they got their second vaccine, anti-spike antibodies. 65% had after the second vaccine and for the ones who went ahead and got a booster 75% got after the three doses. That immune response declined over time, particularly over about three months. This is not dramatically different than what you see in the general population. What it does tell you is that you should vaccinate these people.  :27

Nelson notes that for folks with other types of cancer the immune response may not be so robust so other treatment strategies may be employed, such as monoclonal antibodies. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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