COVID-19 and Cancer January Updates

People in active treatment for cancer can be at greater risk of severe infection from COVID-19.

We keep track of articles, studies, and other resources that can inform your work related to COVID-19, vaccine promotion, and the effects on patients with cancer. See below for recent highlights:
Updated vaccine guidance for immunocompromised children (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
The CDC has updated its guidance related to COVID-19 vaccines for moderately or severely immunocompromised people to include the recommendation that moderately or severely immunocompromised 5 to 11-year-olds receive an additional vaccine dose 28 days after their second shot.

Protecting People with Cancer from COVID-19: New Recommendations from NCCN (National Comprehensive Cancer Network)
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network has published updated guidance for people with cancer based on the latest FDA approvals and surging COVID-19 infection rates.

Do Your Part (Healthy Wisconsin Alliance)
This short, powerful video is designed to raise public awareness about the COVID crisis currently facing Wisconsin hospitals, how it is impacting patient care, and the importance of getting fully vaccinated. Designed to be shared across social media channels.

Which Fully Vaccinated Adults are Most at Risk of Severe COVID? (Medpage Today)
A significant proportion of all fully vaccinated adults who died of COVID-19 had at least four risk factors associated with severe outcomes, researchers found. Read the full report from the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Effect of COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns on planned cancer surgery for 15 tumor types in 61 countries (The Lancet Oncology)
An international study looked at patients needing surgery for 15 different types of tumors in 61 countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers compared cancer surgery rates in countries with light restrictions and in those with lockdowns. Researchers found that the stricter the government response, the greater the chance that cancer surgeries were delayed (a 0.6% non-operation rate in countries with light restrictions, vs. a 15% non-operation rate in countries with severe lockdowns). It’s important that we strengthen systems in order to maintain surgery during public health emergencies, as delaying surgery can impact survival.

Assessment of Regional Variability in COVID-19 Outcomes Among Patients with Cancer in the United States (JAMA)
Patients with cancer are at higher risk of severe complications from COVID-19. Researchers examined whether COVID-19 outcomes in cancer patients were associated with geography or region. The authors recommend standardizing guidelines for the care of cancer patients who have COVID-19, to improve outcomes for these vulnerable patients.

REPORTCOVID-19 Vaccination and Breakthrough Infections in Patients with Cancer (Annals of Oncology)
Vaccination is an essential strategy for protecting vulnerable populations from COVID-19. However, researchers found that patients with cancer who develop breakthrough COVID infections despite full vaccination remain at risk of severe outcomes.

How to Talk About the COVID-19 Vaccine With People Who Are Hesitant (NPR, Shortwave)
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Jasmine Marcelin has spent the last year talking to a lot of people about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Here, she shares what she’s learned and how to talk about the vaccine with people who have doubts about getting vaccinated.
Learn more in our COVID-19 and Cancer Resource Center.