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Adverse Events After BNT162b2 Do Not Differ for Cancer Patients

Among patients with cancer, pain at the injection site was less likely after dose 1 for those receiving active treatment

TUESDAY, Feb. 8, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The short-term adverse events of mRNA COVID-19 vaccination do not differ between patients with and without cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Rebecca M. Shulman, M.D., from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues recorded short-term adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine in patients with cancer. All study participants received two doses of BNT162b2, approximately three weeks apart. Data were collected for 1,753 patients, 67.5 percent of whom had a history of cancer and 12.0 percent of whom were receiving active cancer treatment.

The researchers found that the most frequently reported symptom for all respondents was pain at the injection site, with no significant difference seen for patients with and without cancer after either dose 1 (39.3 versus 43.9 percent) or dose 2 (42.5 versus 40.3 percent). Among patients with cancer, pain at the injection site after dose 1 was less likely for those receiving active treatment (30.0 versus 41.4 percent). There was no other association noted between onset and duration of adverse events with active cancer treatment.

“We now have the data and the clinical experience from thousands and thousands and thousands of cancer patients who have been vaccinated,” a coauthor said in a statement. “We know that the mRNA vaccines are safe and are absolutely the most effective way to prevent hospitalization and death from COVID-19.”

One author disclosed financial ties to Pfizer.

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