Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Should Chemo Patients Get Pneumonia Vaccine

Who Should Not Get The Vaccine

Breast cancer patients should get COVID 19 vaccine, doctor says

People should not get the vaccine if they have had a life threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose.

Additionally, a person should not undergo vaccination if they have had an allergic reaction to medication containing diphtheria toxoid or an earlier form of the pneumonia vaccination .

Lastly, people who are sick or have allergic reactions to any of the ingredients of the vaccine should talk to a doctor before getting the shot.

A pneumonia shot will not reduce pneumonia. However, it helps prevent invasive pneumococcal diseases, such as meningitis, endocarditis, empyema, and bacteremia, which is when bacteria enter the bloodstream.

Noninvasive pneumococcal disease includes sinusitis.

There are two types of pneumonia shots available. Which type a person gets depends on their age, whether or not they smoke, and the presence of any underlying medical conditions.

The two types are:

  • Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine : Healthcare providers recommend this vaccine for young children, people with certain underlying conditions, and some people over the age of 65 years.
  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine : Healthcare providers recommend this vaccine for anyone over 65 years of age, people with certain underlying conditions, and people who smoke.

According to the

  • roughly 8 in 10 babies from invasive pneumococcal disease
  • 45 in 100 adults 65 years or older against pneumococcal pneumonia
  • 75 in 100 adults 65 years or older against invasive pneumococcal disease

Do I Still Need To Take Precautions If I Get The Covid

The COVID-19 vaccines are still being studied, as there are things we dont yet know about them. For example, researchers are still trying to determine how long the COVID-19 vaccines will help protect against the virus. And while the vaccines can clearly lower the risk of getting serious disease from COVID, its not yet clear how well they can prevent the spread of the virus to others.

For people who are fully vaccinated , the CDC has guidance on things you can now do , as well as what types of precautions you should still be taking. This guidance is being updated regularly, so check the CDC website for details. The CDC guidance may not apply if you have a weakened immune system , so its important to talk with your health care provider about which precautions you still need to take.

Live Versus Inactivated Vaccines

For people with cancer: It’s important to remember there is a difference between a vaccine with a live virus and one with an inactive virus. It’s also important that people with cancer who might have a weak immune system talk to their doctor about whether they can get vaccines. In general, anyone with a weak immune system should not get any vaccines that contain live virus. There are a few vaccines that contain live viruses, which can sometimes cause infections in people with weak immune systems that can become life-threatening. Your doctor can help guide you about which vaccines are safe while your immune system is weak. Be sure to also talk to your doctor before anyone you spend a lot of time with gets any vaccines.

For family and caregivers of people who have cancer: If you live with or spend a lot of time with a person who has cancer and might have a weakened immune system, it’s important to talk to the doctor if you, your child, or your loved one is due for a vaccination of any kind. Usually, most age-appropriate vaccines can be given, but there are some exceptions.

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Discuss Vaccine Options With Your Oncology Team

Its important to discuss vaccines with your oncology team. They can help to determine the best approach to your individual situation as far as which vaccines you should get and when.

If youve had chemotherapy, youll need to wait a little bit of time for your immune system to recover. To see if your WBC levels have risen, your oncologist will order a complete blood count before vaccination.

This test uses a sample of blood thats taken from a vein in your arm. It measures the levels of different types of blood cells, including WBCs, and can give your team an idea of your level of immune function.

What Are Other Ways That I Can Protect Myself

Health and Wellness Blog

Aside from vaccination, the most effective way to prevent COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes it. People at high risk for developing serious illness from COVID-19 can help protect themselves by limiting contact with other people as much as possible and by taking precautions to prevent getting COVID-19 when they do interact with others.

To protect yourself and prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Get a COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask that covers your nose and mouth.
  • Stay 6 feet away from people who dont live with you.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water arent available.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
  • Be alert for symptoms of COVID-19.

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Why Should I Get The Flu Shot

Cancer treatment can weaken the immune system and put people with cancer at an increased risk for problems from the flu. These problems can include dehydration, sinus and ear infections, and bronchitis, which is inflammation of the bronchial tubes in the lungs. More serious problems include pneumonia, sepsis , and inflammation of the heart, brain, or muscle tissues.

Immunocompromised Patients With Cancer

Highly immunocompromised cancer patients are those who have received chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy within the preceding 3 months, those who have generalized malignancy or hematologic malignancy, and those who have received the equivalent of 20 mg prednisone daily for 2 weeks, as well as stem cell transplant recipients within 2 years of transplant . Patients who receive regimens containing antiB-cell antibodies are also highly immunosuppressed and unable to mount effective vaccine responses, and thus should have routine vaccinations delayed for at least 6 months. Other biologic agents, including both targeted agents and immune checkpoint blockade therapy , have variable immunomodulatory and immunosuppressive effects. The degree and duration of immunosuppression are dependent on the individual drug, dose, and therapeutic context of administration. Certain patients or survivors with cancer may have anatomical or functional asplenia and, if this is their sole immune deficit, they are not considered to be highly immunocompromised and may be able to receive live-attenuated vaccines.

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Common And Local Adverse Events

Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine

Studies of Pneu-C-13 vaccine indicated that irritability decreased appetite increased or decreased sleep and pain, swelling and redness at the injection site after the toddler dose and in older children, are common side effects. Low grade fever occurred in 20% to 30% or more of vaccine recipients. In adults over 50 years of age, the most commonly reported side effects included pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache and new onset of myalgia, with fever above 38°C occurring in approximately 3% of vaccine recipients.

Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine

Reactions to Pneu-P-23 vaccine are usually mild. Soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site occur in 30% to 60% of vaccine recipients and more commonly follow SC administration than IM administration. Occasionally, low grade fever may occur. Re-immunization of healthy adults less than 2 years after the initial dose is associated with increased injection site and systemic reactions. Studies have suggested that re-vaccination after an interval of at least 4 years is not associated with an increased incidence of adverse side effects. However, severe injection site reactions, including reports of injection site cellulitis and peripheral edema in the injected extremity, have been documented rarely with Pneu-P-23 vaccine in post-marketing surveillance, even with the first dose. Multiple re-vaccinations are not recommended refer to Booster doses and re-immunization.

If I Have Cancer Now Or Had It In The Past Should I Get A Covid

Concerns about lung infection from coronavirus raise questions about pneumonia vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone 5 years and older get a primary COVID-19 vaccine series. That includes most people with underlying medical conditions, including cancer.

A primary vaccine series can be one of the following:

  • two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
  • two doses of Moderna vaccine
  • one dose of Johnson & Johnsons Janssen vaccine

If you recently received cancer treatment that suppresses the immune systemsuch as chemotherapy, a stem cell or bone marrow transplant, or cell therapyyour doctor may suggest that you wait until your immune system has recovered before you get vaccinated. Or your doctor may suggest that you wait a few weeks after vaccination to get immunosuppressive treatment.

CDC also recommends some people get an additional vaccine dose and/or a booster shot.

To help protect people with cancer from COVID-19, it is important that their family members, loved ones, and caregivers get vaccinated. The COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe disease and death, including from the Delta variant. In areas where the virus is spreading quickly, wearing a mask in public indoor spaces and social distancing will also help protect vulnerable people and prevent the spread of the virus.

Learn more about what people with cancer should know about COVID-19 vaccines. To find a COVID-19 vaccine near you, visit

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Should Cancer Patients And Survivors Get The Vaccine

Many expert medical groups recommend that most people with cancer or a history of cancer get the COVID-19 vaccine once its available to them. This includes people who have already had COVID-19.

The main concern about getting the vaccine is not whether its safe for people with cancer, but about how effective it will be, especially in people with weakened immune systems. Some cancer treatments like chemotherapy , radiation, stem cell or bone marrow transplant, or immunotherapy can affect the immune system, which might make the vaccine less effective. People with certain types of cancers, like leukemias or lymphomas, can also have weakened immune systems which might make the vaccine less effective.

Although we dont have specific information yet on how effective the vaccines might be in people being treated for cancer, its possible that the vaccines might not be as effective in people with weakened immune systems as compared to people with healthy immune systems. Despite this, experts still recommend that most cancer patients get the vaccine because those with a fragile immune system are at risk for severe COVID-19 disease, so getting even some protection from the vaccine is better than not having any protection. For people with a weakened immune system who are fully vaccinated , the CDC also has recommendations on getting an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine. See Should I get a COVID-19 vaccine booster?

When To Get Vaccines

You should avoid getting vaccines during chemotherapy or radiation therapy because your immune system will be at its weakest, making your body more vulnerable to infection. You can get some vaccines two weeks before of between cycles of chemotherapy. Your doctor can discuss which vaccines are safe for you to take.

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Should I Get The Flu Vaccine As Well

COVID-19 and influenza are caused by different viruses, so getting a vaccine against one of these diseases will NOT protect against the other. Along with talking to their doctor about getting the COVID-19 vaccine, its very important for cancer patients talk to their doctor about the benefits and risks of getting the flu shot.

The flu and COVID-19 are both caused by viruses that can spread easily and can cause serious illness in older people, those with weakened immune systems, and others with certain medical conditions. These infections share many of the same symptoms, so it can be hard to tell which one you might have without having specific tests.

People who live with or care for someone at high risk of getting the flu should also get the flu vaccine.

The overlap of this years flu season on top of the COVID-19 pandemic could also put a burden on healthcare systems, so getting the flu vaccine could help lessen this.

The CDC has more information on the differences between COVID-19 and the flu, as well as more information about getting the flu vaccine.

How Do These Vaccines Work

Shingles Vaccine With Chemotherapy

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines contain messenger RNA , which is a type of genetic material. After a person receives the vaccine, the mRNA enters cells in the body and tells them to make copies of the COVID-19 viruss spike protein . This doesnt cause disease, but it does help teach the immune system to act against the virus if the body is exposed to it in the future.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine contains an adenovirus , which has been changed in the lab so that it contains the gene for the COVID-19 viruss spike protein. Once the adenovirus enters cells in the body, this gene tells the cells to make copies of the spike protein. This triggers the immune system to recognize and attack the COVID-19 virus if the body is exposed to it in the future. The adenovirus in this vaccine is not a live virus because it has been changed so that it can no longer reproduce in the body .

You cannot get COVID-19 from any of these vaccines, as they do not contain the virus that causes COVID-19.

Some vaccines for other diseases contain changed versions of the live viruses that cause the diseases. These live viruses dont cause problems in people with normal immune systems. But they might not be safe for people with weakened immune systems, so live virus vaccines typically are not recommended for cancer patients. However, the COVID-19 vaccines available in the US do not contain these types of live viruses.

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Could The Vaccine Cause Issues If Im Getting A Mammogram

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine might result in swollen lymph nodes under the arm in which the injection was given.

Swollen lymph nodes under the arm might show up on a mammogram done to screen for breast cancer, which could cause concern and might lead to the need for further tests.

If youre scheduled for a mammogram soon after you get a COVID-19 vaccine, its important to tell your doctor when and in which arm you received the injection. Based on your situation, they can discuss with you if you should change your mammogram appointment. Do not delay your mammogram without speaking to your doctor first.

Is It Safe For Cancer Patients To Get Any Type Of Vaccine

People with cancer can get some vaccines, but this depends on many factors, such as the type of vaccine, the type of cancer a person has , if they are still being treated for cancer, and if their immune system is working properly. Because of this, its best to talk with your doctor before getting any type of vaccine. To learn more, see Vaccinations and Flu Shots for People with Cancer.

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Adjustments On The Treatment Of Cancer Patients With Pneumonia

D’Or Institute for Research and Education
Pneumonia is the most frequent type of infection in cancer patients and it is associated with high mortality rates. Researchers have analyzed the factors associated with severe pneumonia in hospitalized cancer patients and suggest that personalized treatment protocols can reduce mortality in this population. Their work indicates that the standard broad-spectrum antibiotic treatment used by physicians worldwide may not be the better choice for this group.

Cancer patients are more likely to get infections. Pneumonia is the most frequent type of infection in this group and a frequent cause of ICU admission and mortality. A study conducted by researchers from the D’Or Institute for Research and Education in partnership with Brazilian hospitals and universities analyzed the factors associated with severe pneumonia in hospitalized cancer patients and suggests that more personalized treatment protocols can reduce mortality in these patients.

Until now, there was a consensus among the medical community that the majority of pneumonia cases in cancer patients were due to the immune system debility caused by the disease and to the exposure to multiresistant bacteria which can cause the pulmonary infection. The idea was that these patients are more vulnerable to superbacteria because they spend a lot of time in hospitals.

New protocols

More efficient treatment

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Pneumonia And Long Covid

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In a Q& A about lingering COVID-19 symptoms, the Cleveland Clinic notes that it is seemingly random who experiences long-lasting symptoms and who doesn’t. So, its not quite clear whether having pneumonia in the past is connected with having long COVID.

As a way to find answers, in 2021, the National Institutes of Health launched an ongoing study into the underlying biological causes of prolonged symptoms and what makes some people more likely to get long COVID.

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What Kind Of Vaccinations Are Safe For Blood Cancer Patients

For the general population, there are two types of vaccines:

  • Non-live vaccines: These consist of an inactivated toxin or protein fraction from the infecting organism, which is developed so that it can generate an immune response.
  • Live-attenuated vaccines: These contain whole bacteria or viruses which have been weakened so that it can create a protective immune response, but does not cause the disease for people with healthy immune systems.

Both of these type of vaccines stimulate the immune system to create antibodies to the disease, which will protect you when you come into contact with it in the future. While the nonlive vaccines do not produce an immune response as strong as the live-attenuated vaccines, they are much safer as they do not contain a live strain of the bacteria or virus.

Patients who are immunosuppressed should not receive live-attenuated vaccines. However, your family may receive them in order to help protect you. Find out more in the Should family members of blood cancer patients be vaccinated? section of this article.

Examples of non-live and live-attenuated vaccines include:

Non-live vaccines

· Varicella-zoster virus ***

· Oral polio

· Rotavirus

· Yellow fever

The pneumococcal and meningococcal vaccines protect against infections which are responsible for pneumonia, septicaemia , and meningitis.

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