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Should Childhood Cancer Long-Term Survivors Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Should childhood cancer survivors get the COVID-19 vaccine?

As a long-term survivor of childhood cancer, you may ask — should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes, you should get the vaccine — unless you are allergic to an ingredient in the vaccine or have another health condition that prevents you from being vaccinated.

COVID-19 vaccines help our bodies develop immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19.

What Vaccines are Available?

There are 3 vaccines available.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, also known as Comirnaty, is approved by the FDA for people ages 16 and older. It is authorized for use in people ages 12-15. Two additional vaccines, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, are authorized for use.

This chart breaks down who is eligible for each vaccine.

Name of Vaccine Number of Doses Required Age Range
Pfizer-BioNTech 2 (21 days apart) 12 and older
Moderna 2 (28 days apart) 18 and older
Johnson & Johnson 1 18 and older

When Can Childhood Cancer Survivors Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Everyone 12 years of age and older is now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S.

Even after you get a COVID-19 vaccine, it is still important to take steps to protect yourself and others:

  • Wear a mask
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid large gatherings

COVID-19 Vaccine Third Dose vs. Booster

The third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine helps those with vulnerable immune systems who may not have built up enough immunity from the first two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

The booster shot is for those who are at high-risk of severe COVID-19, or those whose daily job puts them at high risk of serious complications of COVID-19 including severe COVID-19, such as frontline workers, who may have experienced a decrease in immunity over time.

It is currently only available for those who had the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Note about Johnson & Johnson vaccine

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that use of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Vaccine resume in the United States on April 23, 2021. However, women younger than 50 years old should be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination, and that other COVID-19 vaccines are available where this risk has not been seen. If you received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine, here is what you need to know.

 

When Can Childhood Cancer Survivors Get the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Everyone 12 years of age and older is now eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S.

Even after you get a COVID-19 vaccine, it is still important to take steps to protect yourself and others:

  • Wear a mask
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid large gatherings

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should and should not get the vaccine?

More information about the vaccine and its risks

More research is needed to understand how long immunity lasts and whether someone who had the vaccine and gets infected can transmit the virus to others.

Key Points

  • COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone over age 12.
  • Currently, there are 3 vaccines available.
  • You are fully vaccinated 2 weeks after your single dose of Johnson & Johnson or your second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.
  • Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for a third dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna or a Pfizer-BioNTech booster. Ask your doctor.
  • Side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine are rare. And the vaccine is much safer than a COVID-19 infection.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. They have been through extensive testing. Allergic reactions are rare.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. They do not cause infertility.
  • You should take steps like wearing a mask, washing your hands, and physical distancing even after you are vaccinated.


Reviewed: October 2021