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COVID-19 VACCINES FAQ FOR PATIENTS AND CAREGIVERS

Get Vaccinated, Act Unvaccinated

By “acting unvaccinated” we mean that in addition to getting vaccinated for COVID-19, blood cancer patients should continue to take preventive measures such as wearing masks, social distancing, hand washing and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces. This is especially important since some blood cancer patients may not get optimal protection from the vaccines and may be more susceptible to infection after vaccination compared to the general public. The CDC recommends that some fully vaccinated people, even those without blood cancers or other conditions that can weaken their immune system, wear masks indoors.

LLS has reported data from more than 1,400 blood cancer patients enrolled in its LLS National Patient Registry showing that up to 25% of blood cancer patients produce no antibodies against COVID-19 more than two weeks after their second mRNA vaccination. Based on this and similar data from other studies of immunocompromised individuals, CDC recommends a third vaccine dose following the primary two-dose series for most patients with blood cancer who are 12 years of age and older. 

Although some patients with hematologic malignancies will not mount a full antibody response compared to healthy individuals, vaccines are safe and offer protection to the majority of blood cancer patients.

IMPORTANT UPDATES

On August 23, the FDA approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, now known by the brand name Comirnaty. Blood cancer patients should continue to get vaccinated as recommended with any FDA-approved or FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson).

On August 13, the CDC updated its COVID-19 vaccine recommendations to include an additional vaccine dose (Pfizer or Moderna) for people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems after an initial two-dose vaccine series. This recommendation applies to most blood cancer patients.

LLS encourages anyone with a current or past blood cancer diagnosis who has already been vaccinated to talk with their health care team about whether and when they should receive another vaccine dose. Those who are not vaccinated should consult with their health care team about starting the vaccination series as soon as possible.

LLS has been hearing from families affected by blood cancer about back-to-school safety. Click here to read about back-to-school safety.  

Gwen

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) hears from blood cancer patients and caregivers each day about the profound effects of the pandemic on their cancer care and daily lives, including questions about COVID-19 vaccination and how well they work for people with blood cancer.

LLS Chief Medical Officer, Gwen Nichols, MD, is addressing FAQs from blood cancer patients and caregivers based on what we know right now. We encourage blood cancer patients, parents of patients, and caregivers to get vaccinated unless they have a true medical contraindication to the vaccines.

We understand that you may be experiencing uncertainty about the impact of COVID-19 on your cancer care and may have many questions about when to get your vaccine. As you continue to navigate your care during these challenging times, LLS offers a wide array of free education and support that can help. LLS Information Specialists – highly trained oncology professionals – can be contacted here.

Last updated 9/8/2021

QUESTIONS FROM BLOOD CANCER PATIENTS WHO HAVE BEEN VACCINATED

As a blood cancer patient, now that I’m vaccinated, can I resume “normal” activities such as going to sporting events and concerts?

On August 13, the CDC updated its recommendations to include an additional vaccine dose (Pfizer or Moderna) for most blood cancer patients. Even when fully vaccinated against COVID-19, blood cancer patients should continue to take preventive measures such as wearing masks, social distancing, handwashing, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces. This is especially important since some blood cancer patients may not get optimal protection from the vaccines and may be more susceptible to COVID-19 infections after vaccination compared to the general public.

I am a blood cancer patient who has been fully vaccinated and have a negative antibody response. What does this mean for me and what precautions should I be taking?

As of August 13, the CDC recommended an additional vaccine dose for most blood cancer patients. We urge everyone to talk with their physician about when they should receive this dose. Even after being fully vaccinated, people with immunocompromising conditions, which includes certain blood cancers, should continue following prevention precautions (mask wearing, social distancing, handwashing, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces), and encourage those around them to get vaccinated.

Some patients may have a diminished antibody response, due to their type of blood cancer diagnosis and the type of treatment they have received. This does NOT mean that vaccination is futile.

Antibodies are just one piece of the puzzle and there are other ways our immune systems respond to vaccination that may provide protection. Immune cells known as T cells may play a role in the ability of our immune system to protect us against COVID-19. This is one of the questions LLS is studying through the LLS National Patient Registry, a project of the Michael J. Garil Patient Data Collective. We will be sharing findings from these research studies with patients and the medical community and have already shared preliminary safety data.

If you are an existing participant in the Registry and have additional questions about your antibody tests, please visit our COVID Study Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

Should patients with blood cancer get an additional vaccine dose?

Yes. As of August 13, the CDC updated its COVID-19 vaccine recommendations to include an additional vaccine dose (Pfizer of Moderna) for most blood cancer patients. For immunocompromised individuals, CDC does not consider this a “booster” shot. Instead, the additional dose is a part of the primary vaccination series recommended specifically for people with moderate to severe compromise of their immune system. We urge everyone to talk with their physician about when they should receive an additional vaccine dose.

How do I know if I’m eligible for a third shot?

CDC recommends the additional dose for anyone with moderate to severe immunocompromise due to a medical condition or immunosuppressive treatment. This includes most blood cancer patients. We urge blood cancer patients to talk to their physician as soon as possible about whether and when they should receive an additional vaccine dose. You will need to attest that you meet criteria for immunocompromised conditions; this is done on an honor system.

Do I need to get the same brand of COVID-19 vaccine I got for my first two shots? 

For people who received either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine series, a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine should be used. If the same vaccine product is not available or is unknown, either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered.

What should immunocompromised people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine do?

According to the CDC, there is not enough data at this time to determine whether immunocompromised people who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine should receive an additional dose of the same vaccine. Peter Marks, a physician and researcher at the FDA who is responsible for the division that assures vaccine safety, said that the agency is working to come up with an answer. We will update this page as we learn more. 

What is the recommended timing for the third shot of the COVID-19 vaccine for people with blood cancer? 

The CDC recommends the additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine be administered at least four weeks after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. It is important to know that this is different than the booster dose that health authorities are recommending for those with fully functioning immune systems. For them, the additional dose should be given eight months after their second.

Once I get the third dose, am I safe to resume normal activities? 

Even after receiving a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, immunocompromised patients should still take other precautions including mask wearing, frequent handwashing, and avoiding poorly ventilated spaces. According to a Vanderbilt University vaccine expert who sits on the ACIP committee, “A third dose will make them [immunocompromised patients] safer, but they still have weaker responses to the vaccine than people whose immune systems are intact.”

I read about a booster dose trial that seemed to work. Doesn’t that mean it’s safe?

We have no reason to think safety of the booster dose will be an issue, and there have been no safety concerns raised in the small number of studies completed so far. Experts agree that the risks of COVID-19 outweigh any risks of vaccination and that any protection is better than no protection.

I am a blood cancer patient who has been fully vaccinated. Does this mean I can stop wearing my mask?

Even when fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the CDC and LLS recommend that you continue wearing a mask and taking other precautions to avoid infection. If you have a condition or are taking medication that weakens your immune system, you should continue taking all precautions.

I am a blood cancer patient who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Can I resume travel?

While travel restrictions due to COVID-19 are slowly being lifted and the CDC updated its guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals traveling domestically, blood cancer patients should remain cautious about travel. While all of us are anxious to get back to normal, travel increases your chances of getting infected and spreading COVID-19. Before considering travel, if you are a cancer patient, survivor or caregiver, talk to your cancer care team about whether there are any additional precautions you should take. Always continue to social distance, wear a mask, wash your hand frequently, and avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.

QUESTIONS ABOUT VACCINE AVAILABILITY AND ACCESS

What COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized or approved?

On August 23, the FDA approved the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, now known by the brand name Comirnaty. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines continue to be available under a special FDA authorization. Blood cancer patients should continue to get vaccinated as recommended with any of these vaccines. 

Who is eligible to get vaccinated?

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine can be administered to anyone 12 and older, while the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are for anyone 18 and older. 

When will a vaccine be available for children under 12 years old? What about children with cancer?

Pediatric clinical trials are currently underway for children under 12 years old and health officials expect results later this year. While vaccines may not be available for all children until early 2022, some may be eligible sooner, including those with high-risk conditions. It is a good idea to begin discussing vaccination plans with your child’s oncologist.

Are there resources for immigrants who face barriers to getting vaccinated?

In response to concerns about access barriers some immigrants are facing regarding documentation requests prior to receiving COVID-19 vaccination and individuals inappropriately being sent bills for COVID-19 vaccine fees, Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) developed two fact sheets to help both patients and providers better understand their, which are available in English and Spanish.

How can I get assistance signing up for my COVID-19 vaccination?

You can check with your local Public Health Department for availability and distribution locations in your area and how to make an appointment. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) also has an online VaccineFinder “Where to go” resource.

What is LLS doing to help blood cancer patients gain access to COVID-19 vaccines?

LLS is doing its part by ensuring blood cancer patients’ interests are being heard by policymakers involved in the country’s vaccine rollout. A summary of our effort include the following:

White House

LLS – along with other partner organizations – is closely monitoring the Biden administration’s rollout process. We’ll communicate to the administration the strategies we believe will improve access to the vaccine, and we’ll update that guidance as the situation evolves. We’re also in touch with policymakers in state government.

Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)

Under ACIP’s guidelines, cancer patients are high-priority for vaccination, falling under the “Phase 1c” designation. States are encouraged, but not required, to follow ACIP’s recommendations. Back in January, we shared our views with ACIP. We applauded the committee for the high-priority designation it gave blood cancer patients. But we also reminded its members just how important it is for them to follow emerging data specific to the risk of COVID-19 to blood cancer patients. In addition, we urged ACIP to advise states on streamlining vaccine registration processes and keeping those processes from being overly burdensome for patients.

QUESTIONS ABOUT VACCINE EFFICACY AND SAFETY

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe for blood cancer patients?

All three vaccines were shown to be safe in clinical trials and more than 200 million Americans have received at least one vaccine dose so far. Blood cancer patients undergoing or having completed treatment, as well as survivors may be offered vaccination against COVID-19 if they have no other contraindications to these vaccines.

LLS collected real-world data from blood cancer patients and survivors through the LLS National Patient Registry. We found that the side effect profile of the currently authorized vaccines is very similar in blood cancer patients and survivors compared to the general public. Read more about the results here. We also reported in July that the study showed that one in four blood cancer patients fail to produce detectable antibodies after two doses of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. This is one reason why a third dose is now recommended for blood cancer patients and others with compromised immune systems.

In the meantime, more information keeps coming in about how dangerous the virus is for cancer patients—particularly those with blood cancer, so vaccination is very important. However, cancer and its treatment can affect how well a patient’s immune system responds to vaccines. While some patients may experience a decreased immune response to the vaccine, some protection is better than none and is important for reducing the risk or severity of COVID-19 to cancer patients. LLS encourages blood cancer patients to get vaccinated unless they have a true medical contraindication to the vaccines.

Even after vaccination, cancer patients should continue to follow good prevention practices as an extra layer of protection, such as wearing masks, social distancing, frequent hand washing, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces. They should also encourage those around them to get vaccinated for their own protection and to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to them.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines effective for blood cancer patients?

While there is no reason to believe vaccine safety will be different in cancer patients, important questions remain about how well these vaccines induce immunity in patients with different types of blood cancer, particularly those undergoing treatment. Experts agree that the risks of COVID-19 outweigh any risks of vaccination and that any protection is better than no protection.

On August 13, the CDC updated its recommendations to include an additional vaccine dose (Pfizer or Moderna) for most blood cancer patients. Even when fully vaccinated against COVID-19, it’s important for cancer patients to  continue taking other preventative measures like hand washing, wearing masks, social distancing, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated indoors spaces, even after vaccination. 

Are the COVID-19 vaccines effective in protecting against the Delta variant?

While still highly effective against the delta variant, the available COVID-19 vaccines may offer less protection than against the original strain of the virus. The best advice is to get vaccinated but to also continue taking other precautions, like wearing a mask, social distancing, and avoiding crowds, as an extra layer of protection.

However, promising data from Israel found that the Pfizer vaccine is 94% effective at preventing severe illness from the delta variant. Separately, an analysis released by Public Health England found that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were over 90 percent effective against hospitalization from the delta variant.

The risk of serious illness from COVID-19 is high for people with blood cancer, so unless you have a true medical contraindication, which is very rare, we encourage you to get vaccinated with whichever authorized COVID-19 vaccine is offered to you.

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines, like my annual flu shot?

CDC says COVID-19 and other vaccines may be given without regard to timing. This includes giving vaccines like flu and COVID-19 on the same day, as long as the shots are given in different limbs, or if in the same limb, at least 1 inch or more apart. 

How is LLS helping the blood cancer community learn more about COVID vaccines?

The LLS National Patient Registry provides a unique opportunity for blood cancer patients age 18 and older to join LLS to increase scientific knowledge about how COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines affect them. Go to www.lls.org/registry to learn more. For further support, call (844) 696-7228 or email PACT@LLS.org 

If you are an existing participant in the Registry and have additional questions about your antibody tests, please visit our COVID Study FAQ page.

Our researchers are gathering data to improve our understanding of how people with different blood cancers respond to COVID-19 and the vaccines so that vaccination strategies and timing can be tailored to maximize their protection. We will be sharing findings from these research studies with patients and the medical community and have already shared preliminary safety data and data showing that about one in four blood cancer patients does not develop measurable antibodies following two doses of either Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

It is also critical to expand clinical trials and to collect data that includes patients with immunosuppression, including blood cancer patients undergoing treatment.

I have experienced severe allergic reactions to vaccines or injectable drugs in the past. Can I still get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Severe allergic to specific components of the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines is a contraindication to vaccination. All other severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, to other vaccines or to any injectable therapy (e.g., intramuscular, intravenous, or subcutaneous) are a precaution, but not contraindication, to vaccination.

Some people receiving a COVID-19 vaccine have reported swollen lymph nodes on the underside of the arm where the vaccine was administered 2-4 days after receiving the vaccine. Lymph node swelling can be a common reaction, or side effect, to any vaccine and those who have reported swollen lymph nodes usually have them return to normal within four weeks. In most cases, no additional imaging tests are needed for swollen lymph nodes after recent vaccinations unless the swelling persists or there are other symptoms. Understandably, for cancer patients who have had lymph node enlargement as a sign of their cancer, any enlargement may be of concern. You should contact your health care team to determine how to follow up if you have post-vaccine lymph node enlargement.

LLS strongly encourages you to discuss any questions or concerns about the potential risks of vaccination with your healthcare provider.

How do these new vaccines work?

All vaccines have the same goal: to get the body to develop protective antibodies against a disease without us having to get sick. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both use messenger RNA (mRNA) to instruct cells in the body to build viral proteins. In this case, the cells learn how to make the so-called “spike protein” found on the surface of the COVID-19 virus. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine uses viral vector. Similar to the mRNA vaccines, viral vector COVID-19 vaccines use genetic material to help train your immune system to recognize the spike protein found on the surface of the coronavirus and respond accordingly.

All three vaccines are designed to trigger an immune response, which produces antibodies and other immune cells, helping the body recognize and fight infection if exposed to the actual virus. The lightning speed at which the vaccines have become available is truly remarkable, but they are based on decades of rigorous and thoroughly reviewed research.

QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19 AND ITS IMPACT ON BLOOD CANCER PATIENTS

Does COVID-19 produce different symptoms in cancer patients than in other people?

Overall, the symptoms of COVID-19 are the same in cancer patients as the general population. One exception might be patients who are taking steroids or other medications to treat leukemia or lymphoma. These treatments can suppress fevers. As a result, patients with COVID-19 who are taking these types of medications may not register a fever — or as high a fever — as others with the infection.

How do I stay up to date on the latest developments about COVID-19?

Check this page often for the latest updates from LLS. You can also get answers to more frequently asked questions or learn more by visiting the pages of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (here) and by contacting your local Public Health Department. Additionally, The American Society of Hematology (ASH) has developed a series of frequently asked questions that are categorized by malignancy topic for patients with leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and myelodysplastic syndromes.

Does health insurance cover COVID-19 testing and care?

You may or may not have out-of-pocket costs if you get tested for COVID-19 or if you need medicines or other care to treat it. You’ll need to check with your health insurance company about coverage. Here are some tips and resources to get you started:

•    Call the toll-free number on the back of your insurance card
•    Read about Medicare coverage of coronavirus-related needs
•    See Medicaid’s frequently asked questions about COVID-19
•    Learn about coronavirus and your Marketplace health plan coverage

I am a lymphoma or leukemia patient who has received the COVID-19 vaccine. Should I be tested for antibodies to determine the effectiveness of the vaccine?

Having antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, appears to offer some degree of protection from getting the virus and from having severe disease. For those patients who do not have antibodies or do not produce as robust an antibody response, we don’t yet know if you will be protected. There are other types of immunity which may provide protection. Immune cells known as T cells play a role in the ability of our immune system to protect us against COVID-19. This is one of the questions LLS is studying through the LLS National Patient Registry.

QUESTIONS ABOUT COVID-19 & VACCINATION WHILE UNDERGOING BLOOD CANCER TREATMENT

As a blood cancer patient or survivor, should I worry about when I get vaccinated relative to whether I am in a “watch and wait” period, am currently on treatment or have recently stopped treatment? 

These are extremely important questions. Since the situation for every person is different, we recommend discussing the timing of your COVID-19 vaccination with your healthcare team. Generally, it is best to vaccinate before treatment as the immune response to the vaccine may be impaired in patients receiving cancer treatments that affect the immune system. 

However, if you are already undergoing treatment that does not mean you should forego vaccination. Even if your immune system does not respond fully to vaccination, some protection is better than none, especially for a disease as serious as COVID, which tends to strike cancer patients harder.

How do I know if I should have the extra dose that CDC now recommend?

CDC recommends an “extra” dose for people with compromised immune systems, which includes many patients with blood cancer. They should receive this dose at least four weeks after completing their primary two-dose series with either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Those without a compromised immune system should receive the additional dose at least eight months after completing their primary two-dose series with either Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. So, everyone who received two doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine should receive another dose. There are early signs that the additional dose may be effective for many patients, even those who are seronegative. The best way to determine when to get yours is to talk to your health care team. 

According to the CDC, there is not enough data at this time to determine whether immunocompromised people who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine should receive an additional dose of the same vaccine. Peter Marks, a physician and researcher at the FDA who is responsible for the division that assures vaccine safety, said that the agency is working to come up with an answer. We will update this page as we learn more. 

I am a newly diagnosed blood cancer patient – should I get vaccinated for COVID-19 before treatment?

Since the situation for every person is different, we recommend discussing the timing of your COVID-19 vaccination with your oncologist. Generally, it is best to vaccinate before treatment as the immune response to the vaccine may be impaired in patients receiving cancer treatments that affect the immune system.

I am a blood cancer patient undergoing active chemotherapy. Am I more prone to COVID-19 infection?

A study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) COVID-19 and Cancer meeting showed no increased risk of getting COVID-19 among cancer patients on active chemotherapy treatment. With proper precautions in the clinical setting, disruptions in lifesaving cancer treatment should be minimized during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage you to discuss any questions regarding your cancer care with your oncologist and healthcare team.

I am a cancer patient who has received lymphocyte-depleting therapy (e.g., rituximab, blinatumomab, anti-thymocyte globulin, alemtuzumab, etc.). When should I get vaccinated?

According to COVID-19 vaccine interim guidelines from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, for patients who have received lymphocyte-depleting therapy, it is reasonable to consider deferring vaccination until six months after completion of therapy or until there is evidence of lymphocyte reconstitution. We encourage you to discuss specific questions or concerns with your medical team as every patient’s experience is unique.

I am a lymphoma patient on rituximab (Rituxan) or obinutuzumab (Gazyva). Will the COVID-19 vaccine still be effective for me?

According to data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) COVID-19 and Cancer meeting, CD-20 targeting agents such as rituximab and obinutuzumab were tied to severe COVID-19 in lymphoma patients. Patients with lymphoma may develop immune deficiency due to particular features of their disease or due to their treatment regimen, which can lead to increased incidence and increased severity of infections.

Certain lymphoma therapies, particularly rituximab and obinutuzumab are known to impair antibody responses even after discontinuation. Patients should consider themselves still at risk and continue remaining vigilant even after vaccination.

Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions and do not discontinue therapy without speaking to your healthcare team.

I am a CLL patient who has tested positive for COVID-19. Should I continue treatment with BTK inhibitors (BTKis) including ibrutinib and acalabrutinib?

Published reports suggest a possible benefit from BTKis (ibrutinib and acalabrutinib) in people with severe COVID-19 infection. While controlled studies are needed to confirm those results, ASH’s current recommendation is to continue BTKis in patients with CLL diagnosed with COVID-19.

Should COVID-19 vaccines be administered to autologous HCT, allogeneic HCT, and CAR T cell recipients?

HCT or CAR T cell recipients are often immunosuppressed for months following treatment due to maintenance therapies and immunosuppressive drugs, among other factors. Based on current evidence, the available vaccines could be offered as early as three months following HCT or CAR T cell therapies, although their effectiveness may be reduced compared to results in general populations.

If you are a HCT or CAR T cell patient, please discuss any questions regarding vaccination with your oncologist and healthcare team. And even after vaccination, continue to follow all safety precautions (wear a mask, social distance, avoid crowds, etc.) as an extra layer of protection).

QUESTIONS ABOUT MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES

What is a monoclonal antibody?

When you come in contact with an infection, including COVID-19, your body naturally makes different types of antibodies to help fight off the infection. Vaccines are designed to help you develop these same antibodies before you come in contact with COVID-19 and get sick. Monoclonal antibodies are a single type of antibody made in a laboratory either to fight the infection, or in the case of Rituximab, to fight malignant cells. They are administered to patients through an intravenous infusion. There are now single antibodies and antibody “cocktails” (combinations) that can be to given to patients for an immediate antibody boost against the virus that causes COVID-19. Because there are “ready made” antibodies, they can begin working in your body right away. However, they are not as long-lasting as the antibodies your body makes itself after vaccination.

Are there any approved monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19?

Currently, two monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatments—bamlanivimab and a combination of casirivimab and imdevimab—have been granted emergency use authorization by the FDA. These therapies can be administered to newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients (12 and older) who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19. The treatment must be given within the first 10 days of symptom onset and patients must not have been hospitalized.

Who is eligible for monoclonal antibody treatments?

The FDA revised its EUA for REGEN-COV to allow emergency use to reduce the risk of serious illness in high-risk adults and children age 12 and older who have been exposed to COVID-19. The combination is not, however, authorized for prevention of COVID-19 in people without a known exposure to the virus. REGEN-COV is not a substitute for vaccination against COVID-19, the FDA said, and should only be used in unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated individuals. The FDA defined “high risk” as meeting at least one of the following criteria:


•    having chronic kidney disease, diabetes, or a suppressed immune system (which can occur with some forms of blood cancer and their treatment)
•    being older than 65 years
•    being older than 55 years and having cardiovascular disease, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or another chronic respiratory disease
•    being aged 12–17 years and having a BMI equal to or greater than the 85th percentile for one’s age and sex
•    sickle cell disease, heart disease, a neurodevelopmental disorder, medical-related technological dependence, asthma, or another chronic respiratory disease requiring daily medication

Currently, there are no clinical trials involving cancer patients for preventative mAb treatment that are actively recruiting. We will update this page with more information if this changes.