Vaccinated Cancer Patients With Breakthrough COVID-19 Have a 13% Mortality Rate
Researchers from Brown University are part of a group studying the effects of on cancer patients.
The first study to look at the clinical characteristics and outcomes of cancer patients who had breakthrough COVID-19 infections and were vaccinated (but not boosted) found that they were still at high risk of hospitalization and death.
According to the study, vaccinated patients who developed breakthrough COVID-19 infections had a 65 percent hospitalization rate, a 19 percent ICU or mechanical ventilation rate, and a 13 percent death rate.
The study’s data was gathered before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States recommended booster vaccines for cancer patients.
The COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium, a group of 129 research centers tracking the impact of COVID-19 on cancer patients, conducted the study.
Among the participants are the Lifespan Cancer Institute and partner Brown University.
“These findings come at a time when there are concerns that immune escape mutants like the omicron strain could emerge from chronically infected patients with weakened immune systems,” Dr.
Senior author of the study, Dimitrios Farmakiotis.
“As a result, immunocompromised people and their close relatives should be targeted for therapeutic and preventive interventions, including community-level outreach and education.”
Farmakiotis is an associate professor of medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University and the director of transplant and oncology infectious diseases at Rhode Island Hospital, the Lifespan Cancer Institute, and the Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute.
Prior to the use of additional vaccine doses, similar high COVID-19 mortality rates in fully vaccinated individuals have been reported in other immunocompromised patient populations, such as organ transplant recipients, he said.
Patients were considered fully vaccinated at the time of the study if they had received two doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the Moderna vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, with the last dose administered long enough before COVID-19 breakthrough.
Before the CDC recommended booster vaccines, the data was collected from November 2020 to May 2021.
The study included 1,787 cancer patients with COVID-19, the vast majority of whom were unvaccinated.
The number of people who had been fully vaccinated was 54, and 46% of those who had been fully vaccinated had lower levels of lymphocytes, which are T and B cells responsible for immune responses to viruses….
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