Cancer patients are at an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and experience more severe disease if infected, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ASTRO says vaccines based on messenger RNA may be administered to people with underlying medical conditions provided they have not had a severe or immediate allergic reaction to any of the ingredients in the vaccine.
The society encourages cancer patients who are actively receiving treatment such as radiation therapy to consult with their oncologists about the timing for vaccination, injection location, and any other considerations relevant for their treatments.
In other ASTRO news, the society has signed a letter along with the American Cancer Society, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and 73 other organizations to encourage people to resume cancer screening and treatment. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities have implemented numerous infection control protocols to keep patients as safe as possible when undergoing cancer screening, the organizations said.
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