Seroconversion Rates Following COVID-19 Vaccination Amongst
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Cancer patients do develop COVID-19 antibodies after being fully vaccinated, a new study suggests. Researchers found that 94 percent of patients with tumors developed antibodies after being vaccinated. Even patients receiving stem cell transplants and other treatments that suppress the immune system had antibody positivity rates over 70 percent.

The study, included 200 patients, who got tested for COVID antibodies after they were fully vaccinated. The majority had an active cancer diagnosis, and 56 percent were on active chemotherapy, including 19 percent who had received chemotherapy within 48 hours of at least one vaccine dose. All common cancer types were represented in the study.

Out of those 200 patients, a whopping 94 percent tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies after vaccination. Most of the patients had received the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, while a few received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Those who had Pfizer and Moderna shots were slightly more likely to test positive for antibodies.

The researchers also found that antibody levels were higher when patients were tested with more time after their final vaccine dose. Patients had common mild side effects, such as sore arms and muscle aches. Not a single patient had to go to the emergency room or be admitted to the hospital because of side effects from the vaccines.

Patients receiving specific therapies that kill B cells and those who recently had bone marrow or stem cell transplants were also less likely to test positive for COVID antibodies. Still, these patients had positivity rates over 70 percent - higher than the researchers had expected. The researchers also noted that there was no significant difference in vaccine effectiveness for patients of different racial/ethnic groups.

The findings suggest that cancer patients can - and should - get vaccinated without worrying about side effects, and they may be confident that their immune systems will respond to the shots.

Source:
https://www.cell.com/cancer-cell/fulltext/S1535-6108(21)00285-3
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