Protecting Cancer Patients from COVID-19

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How does cancer affect immunity to COVID-19, even if a person is vaccinated? This is a question that has come to mind for many since Colin Powell died of COVID-19 complications after fighting multiple myeloma.

According to Dr. Agne Panner, MD, a hematologist and director of the Multiple Myeloma Program at Rush University Medical Center, multiple myeloma can have a significant impact on a person’s immunity.

“Multiple myeloma is not only a cancer of the blood, but also a cancer of the immune system,” says Panner. Normally, plasma cells in our blood produce antibodies against bacteria and viruses.But in people with multiple myeloma, these are Plasma cells It becomes cancerous and cannot make enough antibodies to protect the body from the disease. Certain treatments for multiple myeloma, such as the monoclonal antibody daratumumab and autologous stem cell transplantation, may also affect immunity.

“Patients with multiple myeloma are more susceptible to infections, including COVID, and unfortunately they are less responsive to the vaccine, although about 15% of patients do not respond to two COVID vaccinations at all. , I don’t know who will react. Those patients will continue until we try, “Paner says.according to News reportPowell had been vaccinated with mRNA COVID-19 twice vaccination..

Especially important booster

For people with cancer or a moderately or severely impaired immune system, a third full dose of the vaccine, one month after the second injection, stimulates antibody production and COVID- There is increasing evidence that a person’s defense against 19 will increase. According to MPH, MD, MD, an infectious disease expert and associate professor at Rush. This is important because cancer patients receiving chemotherapy or immunotherapy are also at increased risk of being infected with severe COVID-19. “The lesson learned from General Powell’s death is that we should all be vaccinated. If we are healthy, we have a responsibility to protect those around us who have a weak immune system.”

COVID-19 boosters are also especially important for people with cancer and those with a weakened immune system.

“The boosters recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are aimed at people who are still at high risk of serious infections,” says Lin. “That’s why they targeted senior citizen And the underlying people Medical condition.. For these people, even the slightest COVID-19 infection can make a difference and land in a hospital. “

CDC recently amplifier Recommendations that apply to all three COVID-19 vaccines currently available in the United States.

For those who have been vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech or Modern RNA COVID-Vaccine, the following groups are eligible for booster immunization at least 6 months after the first series.

Booster shots are also recommended for those who have been vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson and who are 18 years of age or older and who have been vaccinated at least two months ago. The CDC also states that those who qualify as boosters can choose the vaccine they receive as a booster and stick to the original vaccine type or get another booster.

Your role to protect others

Both Lynn and Panner agree that another good reason to get a booster is if you live with someone who has cancer or another condition that weakens their immune system. .. Additional steps you can take to protect others include wearing a mask and following social distances, even if you are vaccinated.

Panela urges the public to be vaccinated. Then they will cancer And those over 65 years old (Powell was both).

“There are quite a few patients Myeloma I think the lesson learned from General Powell’s death is that we should all be vaccinated. If we are healthier, we have a responsibility to protect the people around us who have a weak immune system. ”

Do I need a booster after getting COVID-19?

Quote: Protects cancer patients from COVID-19 (October 25, 2021) obtained on October 25, 2021 from https: // do

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Protecting Cancer Patients from COVID-19

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