People with cancer have appropriate, protective immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines without experiencing any more side effects than the general population, five separate research teams reported at the European oncology meeting this week.

In one study involving 44,000 recipients of the two-dose Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, researchers found no difference in side effects experienced by the nearly 4,000 participants with past or current cancer.

In a separate trial, researchers studied 791 cancer patients who received the two-dose vaccine from Moderna.

At 28 days after administration of the second dose, adequate levels of antibodies to the virus in the blood were found in 84% of patients with cancer who were receiving chemotherapy, in 89% of patients receiving chemotherapy plus an immunotherapy drug, and in 93% of patients on immunotherapy alone.

These results compare favorably with the antibody responses seen in a separate group of individuals without cancer, according to European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Press Officer Dr. Antonio Passaro.

“The high rates of efficacy of the vaccine observed across the trial population, regardless of the type of anticancer treatment, constitute a strong and reassuring message for patients and their doctors,” he said in a statement. — Reuters

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