Coronavirus vaccines and cancer
We know people with cancer have a lot of questions about the coronavirus vaccine. Here are some answers to the most common questions we've been asked.
Public health experts and cancer specialists have agreed that people living with cancer should receive the vaccine. The coronavirus vaccines that are available can be given to people who are having cancer treatment. Vaccines save lives and reduce the need for hospital stays from coronavirus.
Vaccines can be given before, during or after cancer treatment. If you are due to start cancer treatment or have cancer surgery your medical team may recommend that you have a vaccination before treatment begins. Having a vaccination before treatment gives a better chance of protection.
Third vaccine dose
The JCVI gives guidance to the whole of the UK. There are plans for this to come into effect in England this Autumn. We will update our information when Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland announce their plans.
Who can have a third dose?
Those entitled to a third dose include people:
- with blood cancer
- who had chemotherapy or radiotherapy that lowered their immune system in the 6 months before they were vaccinated
- who have had either an allogeneic or an autologous stem cell transplant in the last 24 months
- who had a stem cell transplant more than 24 months ago but who have ongoing problems with their immune system.
How do I get the third vaccine dose?
You may find it helpful to talk to your cancer healthcare team who can answer any questions you might have about getting vaccinated. They can also talk to you about the best time for you to have the vaccine.
Or to speak to our experts, you can:
As coronavirus restrictions are starting to ease, it is understandable that this might be a worrying and uncertain time for people living with cancer. We have information about the support that's available, as well as advice to help you stay safe and cope with uncertainty.