Ask the Doctor Question:
I have CLL and have been on Imbruvica for the last five years. I’m enrolled in the LLS Citizen Program, and they also have access to my medical records through the LLS Registry. LLS had me get a blood draw for B cells and T cells. The B cell test shows that I have 3.6 antibodies. I have not received any info on the T cell test. Will the third vaccination be of any value for me to get if the booster shot is the same as the first two?
Answer: Early studies have shown that a third dose of a COVID vaccine in patients with blood cancer increases the immune response and leads to higher levels of antibodies against COVID. These studies are showing that if you responded at all (which you did), the third dose will likely work to give you a significant boost. It is those who had an antibody result of zero that may not have any increases. For patients who did not make an adequate antibody response to the first two doses of the COVID vaccine, the third dose may lead to higher antibody levels, and hopefully increased protection against COVID.
At this time, CLL Society is encouraging all chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines to promptly arrange for a booster unless otherwise directed by their healthcare team.