Patients With Breast Cancer and the COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 vaccine recommendations differ for those who are immunocompromised. Various breast cancer treatments including chemotherapy, certain targeted therapies, and immunotherapy can weaken the immune system. People who are moderately to severely immunocompromised are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccines do not contain live viruses, so they can be used in people with weakened immune systems, which includes patients undergoing cancer treatment.

The effects of the COVID-19 vaccines have some side effects that patients with breast cancer should be aware of. For those who have undergone breast cancer treatment, especially if lymph nodes under the arm were removed, lymphedema or worsened lymphedema can occur as a side effect. For this reason, it is recommended for those who have a history of breast cancer to avoid getting the vaccine injected into the arm on the side of the body where the breast cancer was.

Reference:

COVID-19 Vaccine Facts for People With Breast Cancer. Breastcancer.org. Accessed April 26, 2022. https://www.breastcancer.org/managing-life/staying-well-during-covid-19/vaccine-facts

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