Cancer centers giving third doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Erica Carbajal - Print  | 

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network's updated COVID-19 vaccination guidelines now recommend cancer patients receive a third dose of mRNA vaccine. 

Centers including Houston-based MD Anderson Cancer Center and Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic Cancer Center are following the recommendations and have started administering shots. 

The following groups of people should receive a third shot, according to the network's Aug. 31 update: 

The guidelines are based on the latest data and recommendations from the FDA and CDC regarding booster doses for cancer patients and other immunocompromised individuals, which state that eligible patients should receive a third shot at least 28 days after their second dose. 

"Even after a third dose of vaccine, we still recommend immunocompromised people — such as those undergoing cancer treatment — continue to be cautious, wear masks, and avoid large group gatherings, particularly around those who are unvaccinated," said Steve Pergam, MD, co-leader of the network's COVID-19 vaccination advisory committee and associate professor at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. 

The White House has said all Americans will be eligible to receive booster doses this fall — a decision that is contingent upon FDA and CDC approval. 


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