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Cancer Keys

How many COVID vaccines do people with cancer need?

Published: 26th July 2022

9th December 2021

People who might have been immunosuppressed at the time of their first two vaccine doses are eligible to receive a third primary dose. This includes:

  • People diagnosed with blood cancers
  • People who have received stem cell transplants
  • People who had received immunosuppressive chemotherapy or radiotherapy in the last 6 months

The third dose should be given at least 8 weeks after the second dose, with special attention paid to current or planned immunosuppressive therapies.

Results from a CAPTURE study published on 27th October 2021 supports previous findings that people with cancer, especially those with blood cancers, do not develop as strong a response to the vaccine compared to people who don’t have cancer. Therefore, a third primary dose will help patients generate a more robust immune response.

Please note: it is not yet known whether those who will be offered a third dose will also be offered a booster at a later date.

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