Cancers are inclined to wreak havoc with the physique’s immune system, notably cancers of the blood, Schaffner mentioned.
Blood cancers “continuously contain cells that work together with or are part of the immune system — lymphomas, for instance. The illness itself reduces the capability of the immune system to perform usually,” Schaffner mentioned.
The research factors out that older age — a identified hyperlink to extreme COVID — takes a again seat to most cancers, mentioned one professional.
“A most cancers prognosis appears to trump age as a danger issue for a weaker immune response,” mentioned Dr. Julie Gralow, government vice chairman and chief medical officer of the American Society of Scientific Oncology.
The remedies used to treatment most cancers — chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy — can also intrude with immune response, mentioned Dr. Betty Hamilton, interim director of the Cleveland Clinic Blood and Marrow Transplant Program.
“Now we have had the sense that sufferers who’re immunosuppressed or immunocompromised ultimately have much less response to the vaccine,” Hamilton mentioned, citing most cancers sufferers in addition to sufferers present process organ transplant.
Nonetheless, most cancers sufferers ought to get the COVID vaccine and booster, Hamilton and Schaffner mentioned.
“We do nonetheless advocate vaccination for these sufferers as a result of we do consider that a bit of little bit of safety is best than none,” Hamilton mentioned.
Greatest wager is to quarantine
However their finest wager to remain COVID-safe is to quarantine, and for the folks round them to get vaccinated and stick tight to public well being suggestions, the consultants mentioned.
“If you’re certainly one of these folks, or one of many folks round these folks, you must watch out,” Schaffner mentioned. “Use the masks. Be very cautious with social distancing, and keep away from crowds. And definitely the folks round them needs to be vaccinated.”
“It is actually vital to counsel these sufferers that they nonetheless must be very cautious in public and to put on masks and wash their fingers continuously,” Hamilton mentioned.
“My specialty is bone marrow transplant, and so our sufferers are extraordinarily immunosuppressed,” she mentioned. “Oftentimes after transplant they use these public well being measures anyway. Even with out COVID, they have been utilizing these strategies of avoiding crowded locations and sporting masks and washing their fingers continuously and avoiding people who find themselves in poor health.”