As high as 94% of cancer patients developed a good immune response to COVID-19 vaccine three to four weeks after getting their second dose, according to a new study.
A team of researchers surveyed 131 cancer patients to study immune response to mRNA COVID vaccines. Of them, 124 developed antibodies to coronavirus, but seven did not.
Though the second group is much smaller, it has raised questions on how concerns about their protection against the potentially deadly virus can be addressed.
“We could not find any antibodies against the virus in those patients,” said Dimpy P Shah of the Mays Cancer Center. “That has implications for the future. Should we provide a third dose of vaccine after cancer therapy has completed in certain high-risk patients?”
The study, however, didn’t examine the highly transmissible Delta variant and other mutants. The response of infection-fighting T cells and B cells in patients with cancer was also not analyzed.
Cancer patients who are infected by coronavirus are among those who have a much higher risk of severe complications and mortality. Not much data is available on vaccine efficacy in such high-risk patients.