Cancer patients are likely to develop protection against COVID-19 when they receive two doses of a vaccine, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that, out of 232 patients who were vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, 29 percent developed antibodies compared to 84 percent of the healthcare workers.
But, after a second dose of the vaccine, 86 percent of patients tested positive for Covid-fighting antibodies.
As research continues on vaccine effectiveness for cancer patients - who are at high risk for being infected with COVID-19 and falling severely ill - some scientists have suggested booster shots as a way to ensure full protection.
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Cancer patients do develop antibodies after being vaccinated against Covid, a new study finds. Pictured: A cancer patient receives her shot at a center in Louisville, Kentucky
Cancer patients are highly vulnerable to Covid.
Many common treatments for these patients can weaken the immune system, making cancer patients more likely to have a severe Covid case if they are infected.
Some specific types of cancer, including lung cancer and cancers of the blood or bone marrow, have been identified as especially high risk factors.
As a result, doctors and public health experts consider cancer patients to be a priority group for vaccination.
But the clinical trials for Covid vaccines did not include these patients, leading to limited data on how well the vaccines work for this group.
Scientists have worried that the same immune system weakness - also called immunosuppression - that causes cancer patients to be more vulnerable to Covid may also prevent the vaccines from working.
Past studies on the topic have shown that the Covid vaccines can provide cancer patients with some immunity, although the level of protection may vary based on cancer type and treatment regimens.
The new study - published Thursday in JAMA Oncology - focused on the Pfizer vaccine, which was the first to be approved in Israel.
After the Pfizer vaccine’s approval in early January, the country kicked off a mass vaccination campaign focusing on healthcare workers and high-risk populations, including cancer patients.Insurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
The researchers studied cancer patients receiving treatment at the Division of Oncology of Rambam Health Care Campus, a major medical center in northern Israel, treating