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Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by Indigo10 on Jan 8, 2021 10:06 am

I have not yet had a discussion with my team in respect to whether I will qualify for a covid vacine given my compromised immunity. I am curious if there might be any established protocols in other jurisdictions that I could reference. 

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by Trillium on Jan 8, 2021 2:43 pm

Hello Indigo10‍ - I searched through the CCS site and don’t see any updates yet about the vaccine. While you are waiting to hear from others it might be worth a call to the helpline to get the latest update. Please let us know what you find out. Take Care

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by Runner Girl on Jan 8, 2021 2:51 pm

Indigo10‍ ,

I'm in Calgary.  I searched thru the AHS website info on covid vaccinations.  They have no plan set for prioritizing those with compromised immune systems at this point.  Since they aren't prioritizing the doctors/nurses who are in the Covid wards or the paramedics it seems they're not planning well at all.  Not even a wait list is being made available.

Runner Girl
Never stop believing in HOPE because MIRACLES happen every day!

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by Indigo10 on Jan 8, 2021 3:34 pm

TrilliumRunner Girl‍ i reached out to the cancer hotline and they along with most everyone else has no information related to the covid vacine and cancer/chemo patients. It would seem that we will all need to have a conversation with our cancer care team in order to clarify . I have lymphoma and from everything I have read would probably not be eligible for the vacine both from a risk as well as benefit perspective. 

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by Nix on Jan 9, 2021 8:55 am

In Ontario they are very early in the process of vaccinating the first group, which includes residents of long term care homes, people who work in long term
care homes and some other medical professionals (doctors, nurses, paramedics, depending on the exposure risk of their specific job). After that other medical professionals and front line workers are slated to be vaccinated. They are saying that isn’t likely to be for a couple  months yet. After that they will start to move on to “regular citizens” (i.e. those without elevated exposure from their jobs) who have a heightened risk of illness should they contract the virus. My mom is living with Metastatic Breast Cancer and falls in this category, depending where I am in my treatment process for early stage breast cancer (just finished neo adjuvant chemo, surgery Feb 11, not yet sure what other treatments will follow after surgery) I may or may not be in that group when the time comes or I may be bumped down to a lower risk group by then. Everything I have read and researched says we are a number of months away from that stage of the vaccination process here in Ontario.

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by JenG on Jan 9, 2021 9:54 am

We have been told Mom will get it ‘soon’ but no timeline. She’s 93, living on her own, stage 4 lung cancer, living in Montreal. She was also told the military will administer but I don’t know if that is just referencing the fact that General Hillier is in charge or they will actually be giving the injection at a large site or ??

I’m hopeful. Good luck everyone. 


Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by WestCoastSailor on Jan 10, 2021 1:59 pm

As many have pointed out we are still in the early stages of vaccine rollout. CADTH (Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health)is an independent, not-for-profit organization responsible for providing Canada’s health care decision-makers with objective evidence to help make informed decisions about the optimal use of drugs, medical devices, diagnostics, and procedures in our health care system. It is funded by the federal government and provinces with the exception of Quebec. They recently produced a report that will be used as guidance for the prioritization.


This report makes it clear that there is a lot that isn't known. Ultimately it appears that this will be a decision between a patient and their oncologist.

I can't speak to other provinces but here in BC, BC Cancer is keeping a close eye on the situation addressing the question in this covid-19 FAQ http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/health-info/covid-19-and-cancer-information-for-patients It's the first question.

BC Cancer also refers patients to the BC CDC site which doesn't specifically refer to cancer patients. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/vaccines There has been some indication from Dr. Henry that patients with chronic illness will be prioritized in a secondary fashion but I can find no documentation of this.

My story: http://journey.anguspratt.ca

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by dmarie on Jan 11, 2021 12:14 pm

Another thing that needs to be considered is interactions that the vaccine might have with any drugs you are taking. There is not a lot of information available on this subject for either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. 

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Jan 14, 2021 7:56 am

Well, WestCoastSailor‍ , if anyone can get answers to some of these questions, you can!

I agree - people with chronic illness should be high on the priority list. And not just for cancer: I have a cousin who has a chronic lung ailment, and I would gladly stand her in front of a healthy person (including myself) in a vaccine line.

There was an incident at Toronto airport a couple years ago (as you know) where someone with measles caused potential exposure. My first thought was for people who were there at that time who had immuno-suppressed systems and were freely travelling through that building.
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by Happysilver on Jan 20, 2021 8:03 am

My partner in ontario was in hospita for a couple of weeks in january in ottawa   He has non-hodgkins lymphoma.   He asked about covid vaccination on jan. 14th.  His doctors told him they have no idea... when it will be available...   not reassuring the we have no idea.  Doesn’t sound like a plan.  I have to take a long  leave from work.  I work in a public setting in a university library.  Too risky to bring covid home.  Hang in there everyone!

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by Kuching on Jan 21, 2021 10:23 am

Happysilver‍ I am also in Ontario and have had the same experience.  I have asked my oncologist (at Kingston General), my family doctor, my pharmacist, and the local health unit, when do THEY expect to get vaccinated, never mind me?  None of them have a clue.  I asked them if I could get on a list, but there is no list.  I think, just psychologically, everyone would be a lot happier if they were at least given a timeline on when they could expect to get vaccinated.  Someone has come up with a vaccine calculator, but it’s really Mickey Mouse, it basically just tells you which Phase you are in.  Maybe we should all move to Israel!

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by BonBon2453 on Jan 21, 2021 2:08 pm

I would love to have a timeline of expected vaccines as well.  I would love to actually be able to see my oncologist and doctor, rather than phone visits.  I can’t say everything I want to, for some reason, on the phone.  Also, my dear Dad, who is 91, and has heart disease, hasn’t even been approached yet.  We live in B.C.  I’m sure in time it will all happen, but being the winter and isolation, not seeing family for such a long period of time, is becoming a little depressing.  

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by CCC888 on Jan 21, 2021 10:03 pm

Hi BonBon2453‍ , Kuching‍ , Happysilver‍ , Cynthia Mac‍ , WestCoastSailor‍ ,
On the day FDA approved Pfizer I had chemo, I asked my chemo nurse the vaccine had not been taken trialled on cancer patients (what I understand from HK government), how Canada can prepare the priority list for us. The chemo nurse agreed and said "yes, some of the cancer patients had compromised immune system".
UK has already kicked off the study of the impact of Pfizer vaccine to the cancer patients and especially those who are on active treatment.
Below are the discussions that was found on a UK Breast Cancer Forum link.
In BC (or Canada), based on my observation on how they deliver the new chemo drugs in these few years, my personal view they are slow and always years behind. I hoped for the vaccination they won't wait  for manufacture's recommendations and/or other countries' feedback.

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by Brighty on Jan 21, 2021 10:17 pm

Faith1‍  please see above post on covid vaccinations for chemo patients!
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by WestCoastSailor on Jan 22, 2021 8:05 pm

So BC announced their detailed vaccine rollout plan today. I suspect that its general shape will be the plan for the whole country.

Some cancer patients are explicitly expedited to the front of the line in Phase Three as "clinically extremely vulnerable."


It is dependent on vaccine availability with the first dose in early April and second dose in June.

Personally I'm quite pleased with the plan. It is a difficult logistical challenge. I think by then there will be increased clarity about the potential side effects of the vaccine on cancer patients. The plan also recognizes our particular vulnerability.

My story: http://journey.anguspratt.ca

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by Faith1 on Jan 23, 2021 7:59 am


Thank you for posting the information about the covid vaccine and breast cancer patients. I listened to the live chat on Facebook, it was very informative.  Faith1

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by Brighty on Jan 24, 2021 2:04 am

Sher49‍  hi!!!!! This is the thread about cancer patients and vaccinations.   I will also tag WestCoastSailor‍  incase you have any further  questions.      
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by WestCoastSailor on Jan 24, 2021 10:20 am

An interesting note that escaped me initially because I thought every province was doing it. BC is inoculating "essential caregivers." These are often family members who are caring for someone in long term care, hospice, or hospital. This allows them access along with the professional health care workers. Innovative and important, it is a model for the rest of the country as we struggle to make connections with loved ones in these difficult settings.

My story: http://journey.anguspratt.ca

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by Brighty on Jan 24, 2021 12:15 pm

WestCoastSailor‍  apparently  thry are doing that here too in Ontario.    A friend  if mine is getting  vaccinated soon because  his mom is in a long term care home and he is the caregiver.   
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by Indigo10 on Jan 25, 2021 9:26 am

My hemotologist ,when asked on January 22, indicated that she did not think a covid vaccine would be effective for me because my immunity level is very low. She did think, however, that public health experts would provide more insight in the coming days that would guide us. I have non Hodgkin’s lymphoma and will have my final chemo treatment today. 

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by dmarie on Jan 25, 2021 11:42 am

In Manitoba the vaccine is not currently available to "people with poor immune systems due to disease, treatment or an autoimmune disorder" even if they would otherwise be eligible. This is  very concerning as it would exclude most people on chemo as well as diabetics and other vulnerable people. Hopefully one or more of the upcoming vaccines will be a safer option.

In the mean time please note that vaccinated people can still be contagious and pass the virus on to others so continue to mask up and follow all precautions even if everyone around you has been vaccinated. 

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by D1955 on Jan 26, 2021 11:00 am

We are in Kitchener,  Ontario and are waiting to hear if my husband who is 76 will be allowed to have the vaccine.  He is currently taking bi-weekly shots of Nplates and daily doses of Ibrutinib.
we are not sure how the vaccine will interact . I am 65 and will probably qualify for phase 2.
be safe everyone 

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by Lacey_Moderator on Jan 26, 2021 12:59 pm

Hello Everyone, 

This is definitely a topic that is on a lot of people's minds right now and many people are looking for information.

I wanted to provide the following information from www.cancer.ca: Cancer and COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) - Canadian Cancer Society

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Vaccines work by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies to fight a disease. If you’re immunosuppressed due to your cancer type or cancer treatment, a vaccine may not be able to stimulate your immune system at all or well enough to protect against disease. 

If you have cancer, it’s important to talk to your healthcare team about if you should receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, the COVID-19 vaccine is not recommended for people who are immunosuppressed due to disease or treatment until further evidence is available. But the COVID-19 vaccine may be an option for you after a discussion with your healthcare team to find out if the benefits outweigh the potential risks. 

Regarding availability of the vaccine:

  • Quebec’s vaccine prioritization plan includes people less than 60 years old with chronic disease or health problem that increases the risk of complications of COVID-19 in their priority populations.
  • Ontario has indicated that people with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of phase two of the Ontario immunization program.
  • BC Info: COVID-19 Immunization Plan - Province of British Columbia (gov.bc.ca)
  • The other provinces and territories currently do not indicate when people living with cancer and survivors will be vaccinated.
You may find additional information from UHN helpful: COVID-19 Vaccines and Cancer: What You Need to Know (uhn.ca)

Please continue to talk to your healthcare teams about availability of the vaccine and whether it is a good option for you. 

Stay Safe,

Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by CCC888 on Jan 26, 2021 7:25 pm

I am wondering what have they based to say COVID-19 vaccine is not recommended in general for people who are immunosuppressed due to disease or treatment. Based on trial (any in Canada??) ? Based on the statistic from the people who have received the vaccine when on treatment (any in Canada??)  any other reason ?  
Just my personal view.....Do they understanding our health system is crashing ? Giving vaccine to the most vulnerable group in a higher priority is the normal practice in other countries.

This morning I read a news which is about AstraZeneca to delay the delivery to EU from the HK newspapers and I have used Google translate to translate part of it from Chinese to English.
"  .....German Handelsblatt and Bild respectively reported on Monday that the AstraZeneca vaccine is only 8% or less than 10% effective for people aged 65 years or older. Officials worry that EU approval may not be obtained for elderly injections, AstraZeneca strongly denied the report on Monday, stressing that the blood analysis results of the elderly participating in the trial showed that they had a strong immune response....  "

I am not any medical guy. My understanding from the UK forum breast cancer patients receiving targeted therapy Palbociclib (an immunosuppressed treatment)  have already started to receive the vaccine invitation.

I hope BC can implement the vaccination per the prioritization list that was posted last Friday.
My personal view I don't think the medical teams are able to evaluate the risk and benefits of an individual caner patient in fair if there is no protocol and will be subject to the experience and knowledge of the  teams.
ps. I am obviously not any medical guy. I remember when I was on Taxol, my white blood count was even higher than my 95 years old "healthy" (no 3 "highs", no major disease) grandmother-in-law in the blood test. stronger immune system?? 😊


Re: Covid Vaccinations for Chemo Patients

Posted by CCC888 on Jan 26, 2021 11:36 pm

Just find the below article.