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COVID-19 Vaccines and Childhood Cancer Survivors

All eligible childhood cancer survivors should get the COVID-19 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.

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 CDC preferentially recommends receiving either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. But any available option is preferable not being vaccinated.

Name of Vaccine Number of Doses Required Age Range
Pfizer-BioNTech 2 (21 days apart) for ages over 4 years
3 (first two 21 days apart and the third dose 8 weeks after the second dose) for ages 6 months to 4 years
6 months and older
Moderna 2 (28 days apart) 6 months and older
Johnson & Johnson 1 18 and older

It takes at least 2 weeks to develop full immune protection after getting your final dose of COVID-19 vaccine. You are considered fully vaccinated if it has been at least 2 weeks since your second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine or 2 weeks after 1 dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Because protection after vaccination may decrease over time, you may also need a COVID-19 booster shot.

If you have a weak immune system, your doctor may recommend an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine as part of your initial vaccination series.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should and should not get a vaccine?

More information about the vaccine and its risks

Key Points on COVID-19 Vaccines

  • All eligible childhood cancer survivors should get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone over 6 months of age.
  • Currently, there are 3 vaccines available in the U.S.
  • You are fully vaccinated 2 weeks after your single dose of Johnson & Johnson or your final dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. 
  • 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 recommended. 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: June 2022