Having the COVID-19 vaccine will help make the world safer for everyone, including people with cancer and cancer survivors. That includes timely access to both doses of the vaccine.
You are not alone in your concerns on this issue. Through our helpline and online community, we have heard from others like you that they are concerned with the timing of their second dose and that they are having trouble navigating the system. We are working quickly to bring your concerns, and the similar concerns of others, to the decision-makers who can affect change.
As vaccines are rolled out across the country, we have asked that governments:
Clearly identify when people with cancer and survivors will be vaccinated
Prioritize them in the early phase of the vaccination program
Support more research and monitoring of the outcomes of COVID-19 vaccines for people with cancer and survivors
We will continue to advocate for important issues facing Canadians affected by cancer, and that certainly includes timely access to vaccines for high-risk and vulnerable populations. We will also continue to call on governments to make information more accessible and broadly known. Governments should consider empowering health care providers to determine the timing of the second COVID-19 vaccination dose based on the unique circumstances of their patients.
If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, please contact your healthcare team.
You can find more about our work to support people with cancer during the pandemic in the Advocacy section of our website.
How to find vaccination strategy in your region
Vaccine distribution strategies vary from province to province. We encourage you to visit your province/territories vaccination plan below, and contact them with your concerns:
You can also write to your elected MPP/MLA to ensure they know that this is an issue of utmost importance to their constituents.
This is an issue the Canadian Cancer Society is very aware of and that we are vocal with government on the need for vaccine prioritization for people with cancer and survivors. We are continuing to monitor emerging evidence related to the protection provided by the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in people with cancer and effectiveness of timing of the second dose. We are calling for continued tracking and assessment so that we can ascertain for the future what the ideal timing is for people with cancer. More data will help us better understand the impacts of delayed second doses for people living with cancer and cancer survivors. We are also working with provincial and territorial governments to find out when people with cancer will be eligible to receive the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Join Voices for Change
If you are interested, we have a dedicated volunteer group for advocacy called CCS Voices For Change. You can sign up here to join and you will receive more information about getting involved in our advocacy to support people with cancer through the pandemic.