Cancer patients likely to be less immune after first COVID-19 jab: UK study
- The study was conducted by experts from King’s College London and Francis Crick Institute
- Time gap shorter than 12-week can be the answer, reveals study
- The study is yet to be reviewed by fellow experts
Cancer patients are likely to be less protected against coronavirus after the first of two doses of COVID-19 vaccine than the rest of the population, said a recent UK study on Thursday. The study was conducted by a team of experts from King’s College London and Francis Crick Institute, reported PTI.
However, the study suggest that a time gap shorter than the stipulated 12-week waiting period between the two vaccine doses for cancer patients can be an answer to this problem.
Senior authors of the concerned study, Dr Sheeba Irshad and Professor Adrian Hayday are of the opinion that this calls for an immediate re-evaluation in vaccination process, especially in the waiting interval between the doses for cancer patients or many other high risk groups of immuno-suppressed patients for that matter.
“Our data provides the first real-world evidence of immune efficacy following one dose of the Pfizer vaccine in immunocompromised patient populations,” said Dr Sheeba Irshad. Sheeba is a senior clinical lecturer in the School of Cancer and Pharmaceutical Sciences at King’s College London.
The study takes Pfizer/BioNTech to be the dose under observation and suggests outcomes accordingly. The data from the study further reveals that immune protection after the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine administration in cancer patients against the coronavirus in the third week following the first dose were only 39% and 13% in the solid and haematological cancers, compared to 97% in those without cancer.
The study, which is yet to be reviewed by fellow experts, also reveals that when the second dose of the vaccine was administered three weeks after the first dose, the immune response in solid cancer patients improved significantly with 95% of them showing detectable antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus within just two weeks.
Having said that, those who did not get a vaccine boost in three weeks did not witness any real improvement, i.e, only 43% of solid cancer patients and 8% of blood cancer patients developing antibodies to the Pfizer vaccine at five weeks compared to 100% of healthy controls.
The observations regarding the vaccine responses in cancer patients indicates that a gap of 12 weeks between doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can leave many cancer patients vulnerable to serious COVID-19 implications.
Meanwhile, the UK study will continue to follow cancer patients after their vaccinations for up to six months.