Lung Cancer Patients and the COVID-19 Vaccine
The American Lung Association supports several online support groups, including the Lung Cancer Survivors Support Community. In January 2021, Inspire launched a comprehensive COVID-19 vaccine survey and dashboard to help understand vaccine uptake and side effects amongst their community members affected by cancer, rare diseases, and other chronic conditions. The data from patients who are currently or formally have been treated for lung cancer is very interesting and some highlights are included below:
- 93% of respondents either planned to or already received the COVID-19 vaccine
- Those who did not plan on receiving it cited that it was too new, and they were nervous about its safety and efficacy
- Those who received the vaccine were pretty evenly split between the Pfizer BioNtech and Moderna vaccines, with a small percentage receiving Johnson and Johnson
- Of the 356 lung cancer patients who responded to the survey, 60% experienced no symptoms outside of injection site discomfort after the first shot
- 45% experienced fatigue after the second shot and 40% did not experience any symptoms after the second shot
What do experts say?
Experts recommend that most people with lung cancer receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In some cases, your doctor may want to adjust your treatment schedule around when you plan to receive your vaccination if you haven’t done so already. Since people with lung cancer are at an increased risk of complications from COVID-19, it is important this population becomes vaccinated with their doctor's approval. As you can see from the data above, many lung cancer patients have already received the COVID-19 vaccine and experienced few symptoms or side effects.
As always, talk to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or if you have ever had severe reactions to vaccines in the past. COVID-19 vaccination works, as we can see by the dwindling cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, and mass vaccination is the key to returning to what you love.
What can you do?
Surveys like this one are a vital part of understanding the patient vaccination experience. By taking the survey, you are contributing to the wealth of knowledge needed to improve vaccination uptake and understanding of how lung cancer patients respond to the vaccine. It may seem like sharing your experience is a drop in the bucket, but each individual story is impactful. It is a great way to give back and advance research from the comfort of your own home.
- Make a plan to get vaccinated if you have not already
- Take our survey
- Explore the survey results on the Understanding COVID-19 Vaccine Experiences and Perceptions Dashboard
- Encourage your fellow lung cancer patients (and their loved ones) to get vaccinated
Do you think singing through your lung cancer diagnosis is therapeutic?