The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges immunocompromised people ages 5 years and older to receive a COVID-19 vaccine primary series as soon as possible.
However, if you recently received cancer treatment —such as chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, stem cell treatment or cell therapy—your doctor may suggest that you wait to be vaccinated until your immune system has recovered.
Recent COVID-19 vaccine trials did not include a large number of cancer patients. However, these vaccines do not contain live virus and non-live vaccines are generally considered safe - and are commonly recommended - for cancer patients.
Vaccine effectiveness may be reduced in cancer patients with suppressed immune systems as the ability to mount a response to the vaccine may be limited. Still, the benefit of vaccination is considered greater than the risk of not getting the vaccine, barring any contraindications.
After receiving the vaccine, it is advisable for cancer patients, like everyone, to continue masking, cleaning hands and physical distancing.