(CNN)Are Covid-19 vaccines safe for cancer patients?
It's a question that has been on the minds of researchers and oncologists long before the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine rollouts began. Although there is a consensus that the vaccines are safe for most cancer patients, according to the American Cancer Society and others in the medical community, research into whether they will be effective for cancer patients is still a data-free zone.
The American Cancer Society recommends that cancer patients talk to their doctors before getting any type of vaccine because all patients and their courses of treatment are different.
There are several factors that may require a cancer patient to delay vaccination, including recent stem cell transplants or other recent use of therapy agents known to reduce vaccine efficacy, according to Dr. Laura Makaroff, the American Cancer Society's Senior Vice President for Prevention and Early Detection.
"As far as safety of the vaccine, every situation for every patient with cancer is a little different. And there's a spectrum of where any one patient might be in their cancer journey," Makaroff told CNN. "The Covid-19 vaccine is definitely safe for people with cancer but it's important that patients have a conversation with their healthcare provider and their cancer care team to determine when is the right time to have the vaccine."
"All the guidance that we're seeing -- the American Cancer society and other leading oncology groups -- is that Covid-19 immunization is recommended for patients in active therapy, but we really understand that there are limited safety and efficacy data on these patients," Makaroff said.