11 March 2021

Dr Simon Vincent, Director of Research, Support and Influencing at Breast Cancer Now said:

“For people with breast cancer, having certain treatments can increase their risk of contracting coronavirus, and of becoming seriously ill if they do get it, making it critical their needs are accounted for by the government’s vaccination strategy.

“Worryingly, this study suggests that people affected by cancer, including breast cancer, get little protection against the virus when they only receive a single dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, with no vaccine boost in the following three weeks. In contrast, the study identifies that when patients received a second dose of the vaccine within three weeks, they had significantly improved immune response and protection against coronavirus.

“In light of these findings we are calling on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to urgently review the evidence presented in this study, and to consider adapting its strategy to ensure that people who may benefit from this approach, including those with breast cancer, receive both the first and second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine within a three week timeframe to minimize their risk of both contracting and becoming seriously ill with coronavirus.

“Anyone with questions about their treatment should talk to their treatment team. For questions about breast cancer, anyone can speak to our expert nurses by calling our free Helpline on 0808 800 6000.”