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U Of A Study Shows Cancer Patients On Chemo Likely Not Fully Protected By COVID-19 Vaccine

A new study by the University of Arizona Health Sciences finds that patients undergoing chemotherapy treatments had a lower immune response to two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, but an increased response after a third dose. Chemotherapy not only attacks cancer cells, but also the immune cells needed to fight off infections. The U of A research team looked at 53 cancer patients on immunosuppressive therapy and compared their immune responses following the first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine with that of 50 health adults. After two doses, most of the cancer patients showed some immune response to the vaccine, indicating they had antibodies for the virus that causes COVID-19. The immune response was much lower in healthy adults and some of the cancer patients had no response to the COVID-19 vaccine, meaning there was less protection against the virus. A third shot boosted the immune response for most people in the study. The results are published online in the journal Nature Medicine.