EHS-COVID (275) Cancer and COVID-19 vaccines: a complex global picture

30 April, 2021

An interesting comment [in The Lancet Oncology] on the status of COVID-19 vaccines in cancer patients.

Full text link-

Specific extracts-

Patients with cancer in low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs) are further disadvantaged compared with those in high-income settings because of unequal access to COVID-19 vaccines in already fragile health-care systems.

Most guidelines now recommend COVID-19 vaccination for patients with cancer, making the generalised assumption that the benefits outweigh the risks

The absence of access to vaccines (of any type) remains the major rate-limiting step for many patients with cancer in some of the most vulnerable settings.

The drivers behind this inequity are multiple: vaccine nationalism (hoarding of vaccine supplies), insufficient supply to meet demand, service delivery issues, vaccine hesitancy (concern regarding its safety), and financial challenges.

Prioritised, rapid COVID-19 vaccination of health-care workers and patients with cancer is essential to aid recovery of cancer care systems as they seek to mitigate the impact of delays and backlogs in diagnosis and treatment.

Question for discussion-

What has been the impact of COVID-19 on the quality of care of Cancer patients? (both palliative/ hospice and hospital-based)


Vedant S Jha

HIFA profile: Vedant Shekhar Jha is a Medical Cadet at the Armed Forces Medical College Pune, India. Professional interests: Palliative care, exploring unmet needs of cancer patients, the effective communication of health awareness. He is a HIFA catalyst on the HIFA working group on Maintaining essential health services during COVID-19.

Email address: vedantjha2000 AT