Should Mesothelioma Patients Get the 3rd COVID Vaccine?
U.S. Health officials announced today that all vaccinated Americans should get a 3rd covid vaccine. The announcement of the booster shot comes amid a surge in cases and evidence of the descending effectiveness of the vaccines.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other top health authorities are calling for an extra shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines eight months after receiving the second shot.
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC authorized the 3rd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for those with weakened immune systems. The announcement first recommended that those with weakened immune systems such as cancer patients undergoing treatment get the 3rd shot due to the aggressive nature of the virus.
Before today’s announcement, the FDA and other agencies were expected to eventually recommend that all Americans receive the booster, regardless of age, to ensure lasting protection against the coronavirus. Many cancer patients are left on the fence about whether or not to get the 3rd vaccine shot.
Health Officials Announce 3rd Vaccine Dose
Chief of Transplant Medicine at Toronto General Hospital, Atul Humar, stated, “At this juncture, the benefit of third-dose vaccination…appears to outweigh the risks.” The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines are currently approved on an emergency basis to be given to most people. According to the opinion of top doctors, vulnerable patients may need a booster shot for the best protection against coronavirus.
Others recommended to first receive the booster shot include health care workers, nursing home residents, and other older Americans. France has already begun giving out the 3rd shot to people living with cancer and other immune impairments.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor for the White House, informed us last week that federal health officials are currently speeding up efforts to approve the booster dose for cancer paints and patients with HIV.
What we know about the Covid Vaccine and Cancer Patients
The vaccines are used to help protect the body against certain infections like the coronavirus by helping the immune system recognize it. Medical experts recommend most patients with cancer or a history of cancer should receive the vaccination.
While the COVID-19 vaccines are safe for most people, patients undergoing active cancer treatment should talk to their doctor first about receiving the 3rd vaccine shot.
According to the American Cancer Society, all three vaccines lower the risk of contracting COVID-19 and significantly reduce hospitalizations and death among the vaccinated. The organization also maintains the vaccines do not contain live disease-causing viruses that can affect those with weakened immune systems.
The vaccines are safe among cancer patients. As every case is different, patients with mesothelioma or other cancers should consult their oncologist for the best and most accurate opinion.
Mesothelioma Patients Recommended the Vaccine
Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that most often affects the lungs (pleural mesothelioma). Complications of pleural mesothelioma often include respiratory problems, such as shortness of breath or pleural effusion.
Many people infected with the virus may experience mild-to-moderate respiratory illnesses. Underlying medical problems such as mesothelioma can make it difficult for patients to recover without requiring special treatment.
Since COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, the virus can cause further shortness of breath. Doctors recommend patients with mesothelioma receive the vaccine to protect them from the potentially life-threatening virus.
While we wait for the FDA to officially sign off on the plan pending a conclusion of the safety and effectiveness of a 3rd dose, health officials hope the first of the additional vaccines be administered beginning the week of Sept. 20.