Covid vaccine efficacy

Tue, 08/24/2021 - 13:58

Hi.  I have stage 4 NSCLC, been on Tagrisso for over a year.  I’m 72 and very healthy otherwise.  I’m fully vaccinated, but nobody - including my doctor - can tell me how well the Covid vaccine is likely to work for someone in my situation.  Where I live,  there is talk of booster shots for people on chemo, but not TKIs.  The antibody tests available are only to see if you have had Covid, not how well  the vaccine is working.  Any thoughts?  Thank you!

JanineT Forum …

Hi Alleycat,


Welcome to Grace.  I'm sorry you need to be here but I'm glad to try to help.  I imagine there is little to no data or even individual oncologist experience with this so I will ask one of our faculty oncologists to comment.  I hope you are doing well on the TKI.  What an awful added predicament this pandemic has caused for you. 


All the best,


JanineT Forum …

So we heard back from both. 


Dr. West said, "I think there is no specific information but strongly suspect that patients on EGFR inhibitors or other targeted therapies are not significantly Immunosuppressed and are likely to receive the same benefits from a booster injection as people who don't have cancer and aren't on any cancer treatment. So essentially, I think patients on targeted therapies are likely to be pretty much "like most other people"."


And from Dr. Singhi (BTW, Dr. Singhi is one of our new Patient Education Ambassadors and is the chief oncology fellow at MD Anderson), "At the time, given limited data, the decision for a booster is often provider dependent in practice. Instructions for TKI are not yet clear, but some providers are recommending the booster for patients on TKIs. 

One thing to remember is that for immunosuppressed patients, the  3rd dose does not require a prolonged time frame between 2nd and 3rd dose (recommendation is for 28 days). The booster will likely be offered in the near future to all individuals 8 months after the second dose."
I'm sorry there isn't a more definitive answer.  Please know you are welcome to come back anytime with a question or something you've learned and would share. 
All best,