CLL Society joined the American Cancer Society, Lung Cancer Action Network, and Dr. Chaitra Ujjani, a physician at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and oncology professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and Dr. Elad Sharon, senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute in urging cancer patients in general, and CLL patients in particular, to get vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 in a CNN article written by Lauren Kent: Are Covid-19 vaccines safe for cancer patients? Here is what cancer experts say. I was one of the experts interviewed by CNN.
While all the experts admit the data are thin, especially concerning immunization efficacy in the immunocompromised patients, there are no worrisome safety signals yet seen with the approved vaccines in cancer patients.
There is broad agreement that the potential benefits of receiving the vaccines outweigh the potential risks.
CLL Society is proud to be working with Dr. Ujjani and others at more than 10 sites across the USA, with Dr. Sameer Parikh from Mayo, Rochester, MN and with others on research to answer the question: How well will the vaccines work for CLL patients?
Here is the link to the CNN article: Are Covid-19 Vaccines Safe for Cancer Patients? Here Is What Cancer Experts Say.
Links to the articles from the journals, Blood and Nature, which reported the high hospitalization rates and mortality of COVID-19 in CLL patients from early in the pandemic can be found in this CLL Society article: COVID-19 Severity and Mortality in Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) Patients. Please also read this balanced commentary: When CLL Meets COVID-19 to gain perspective on what these numbers actually mean for us.
CLL Society is constantly working on its own and with other charities to get the word out about the needs of our community and how helping us may benefit the health of the population at large.
Stay in touch. Stay strong. Stay safe. We are all in this together.
Brian Koffman MDCM (retired) MS Ed
Co-Founder, Executive VP and Chief Medical Officer