On March 10, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) Vaccination Advisory Committee released their recommendations for COVID-19 vaccinations in patients with active cancers, including multiple myeloma (MM).
“Patients with active cancer and those on treatment should be prioritized for vaccination and should be immunized when any vaccine that has been authorized for use by the FDA is available to them,” they wrote in their guidance.
The guidance is based on expert opinion and current limited data relating to vaccination in patients with active malignancy.
The NCCN recommends that all patients with cancer, as well as any household contacts and/or caregivers, should be vaccinated when they are eligible. Immunization is recommended for patients receiving active therapy. The committee expressed no preference for any of the approved vaccines.
Patients with hematological malignancies, including MM, are encouraged to get vaccinated upon availability, include relapsed patients and patients undergoing maintenance therapy.
For patients receiving active treatment with allogenic or autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation or chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, the guidance recommends vaccination at least three months following the completion of therapy.
“Data from vaccine trials have demonstrated that vaccines decrease the incidence of COVID-19 disease and complications, but there are limited data that suggest that these vaccines may prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and subsequent risk of transmission,” wrote the committee. “Therefore, even if vaccinated, patients and close contacts should continue to wear masks, maintain social distancing guidelines, and follow other recommendations for COVID-19 prevention.”
Further recommendations and citations are published on the NCCN website.