Third Covid vaccination essential for people with breast cancer

People with breast cancer undergoing active treatment can receive their Covid-19 booster shot earlier. Photo: Breast Cancer Network Australia.


WOMEN and men with breast cancer that are being treated with chemotherapy, hormone therapy or radiotherapy can receive their Covid-19 booster shot earlier than the general population.

Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) and the Federal Government are this week urging women and men with breast cancer to get their third COVID vaccine dose as soon as they are eligible to provide them with maximum protection against coronavirus.

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Anyone on active treatment with chemotherapy, hormone therapy or radiotherapy can receive a third vaccine two months after their second vaccination, unlike the general population who must wait six months.

This is in response to the fact that cancer treatment compromises the immune system, which can result in severe complications if a person contracts COVID-19.

Breast Cancer Network CEO Kirsten Pilatti said now that COVID-19 is circulating in the community the booster shot was essential for the vulnerable.

“If you have breast cancer a third vaccine is not an optional extra, it is as important as the first and second doses,” Ms Pilatti said.

“We know that those who are immunocompromised may not respond as well to the vaccines resulting in a weaker
defence against COVID -19.”

Federal Health and Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt said nearly half a million Australians are now eligible for their booster dose.

“Two doses provide excellent protection against COVID-19 and a third dose will ensure longer and greater protection,” Mr Hunt said.

“The medical experts recommend that people who are severely immunocompromised should receive a third dose.

“I encourage all those who are eligible to speak to their medical professional, especially if your health or the health of a loved one is compromised.”

It is recommended that the third vaccine be an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) regardless of what brand the first two doses were.

Individuals should contact their health professional with any concerns or call BCNA’s Helpline on 1800 500 258.

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