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COVID VACCINE & IMMUNOTHERAPY

Forums General Melanoma Community COVID VACCINE & IMMUNOTHERAPY

  • Post
    Steve33
    Participant
    Hi All,

    Has anyone received any concrete guidance from their doctors are see articles on receiving the COVID vaccine while receiving immunotherapy?

    I became eligible to receive the vaccine this week through my immunotherapy infusion center in Florida. I reached out to my doc @ MDA for guidance and wasn’t provided with much of a recommendation. They just said they don’t have any meaningful data regarding how the vaccine behaves for immunotherapy patients so they can’t recommend anything but they aren’t against receiving it (basically a liability CYA).

    I finished adjuvant Opdivo in Nov 2020. Other than the history of melanoma (NED for 1 year), I’m very healthy and 34.

    Steve

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  • Replies
      JudiAU
      Participant
      Lucky you. I am undergoing immunotherapy and I’d take in a heartbeat.

      I have asked and received the same answer. There is really no data either way. Although my doctor did imply with they would likely have a better grasp on risks by the time it came to me.

      I will say that steroids are known to enhance the side effects of vaccines. It doesn’t mean that you are forbidden but the likely hood of side effects are enhanced. I don’t know if you taken them are not but I had to start and have been trying to slowly reduce so that I was steroid free by the time it matters.

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      ThinkingPositive
      Participant
      Here is the response from the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer: “SITC supports SARS-CoV-2 vaccination in cancer patients receiving immunotherapy”. More info at their website https://www.sitcancer.org/aboutsitc/press-releases/2020/sitc-statement-sars-cov-2-vaccination-cancer-immunotherapy

      Cindy

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        JudiAU
        Participant
        Thank you. That is very helpful. It gives me added incentive to get off steroids.

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        Steve33
        Participant
        Thank you for the link!  Very helpful

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      lkb
      Participant
      Stopped Pembro last June, had surgery in August 2020 and have been NED for three months. My oncology team recommends getting the vaccine.

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      tkoss
      Participant
      i took my first hit of Moderna yesterday. i have just finished 24x Opvido.  so 18 hours later, no side effects.

      my big question for my docs was immo and covid and whether one exacerbated the other.  The  answer was…..confusing or rather , inconclusive .  Some said it made no difference and others said immo makes a covid episode worse (cytokine storm).

      as to the vaccine, first my onc suggested i get it. i have read nothing about any side effects of Moderna much less Moderna in conjunction with Opvido.

      and as i said, 18  hours later, no side effects.

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      tkoss
      Participant
      BTW because i was in treatment i was easily afforded access to vaccination thru my clinic

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      mrbill16323
      Participant
      I have stage IIIC Malignant melanoma and after surgeries, now in my 6th cycle with Keytruda. Both my surgical and oncological doctors have advised me to be innoculated for COVID19. Enthusiastically awaiting my chance to do so.

       

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        Steve33
        Participant
        I took my first vaccine shot 2.5 days ago. I developed a fever about 18hrs later. Fever lasted about 24 hrs then subsided. Overall, my experience with COVID vaccine is very similar to what I’ve experienced with flu vaccine.

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      tkoss
      Participant
      update;  I have developed persistent hip pain 4 weeks after last Opdivo infusion.  I never had this problem once in 64 years, certainly not while taking Opvido for 1 year.  I asked Onc if there was a Opdivo ‘hangover’ or withdrawal syndrome

       

      still waiting for that answer.

       

       

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      Bubbles
      Participant
      For what it’s worth – http://chaoticallypreciselifeloveandmelanoma.blogspot.com/2021/01/new-year-new-career-vaccines.html

      Stay safe.  Wear a mask.  Get a vaccine if your doc approves and you can!!!  celeste

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        tkoss
        Participant
        just talked to doc who assured me there is no Opdivo hangover or withdrawl.  I had to ask.

        I guess I will be plagued with the idea that every little twitch or itch will be melanoma.

        I will say, being only too human , there has always been times when I thought my questions too dumb to ask and thus not asked them or I didn’t get the complete answer it was looking for. I was not persistent in my pursuit of info. Regardless of everyone else’s experience I find docs and nurses sometimes poor communicators, providing open ended answers and dare I say it, sometime not very articulate or even understandable.

        That would be my main critique of my experience. I am not even saying my experience of communications was bad, but there were times when it was a problem

         

        I assume this is ongoing issue in current med ed.

         

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        tkoss
        Participant
        after a trip to urgent care for hip pain, persistent and very painful, along with constipation, got blood work and xray. nothing to note.

         

        so I talked to onc again,  this time I was pretty plain..i hurt.  he was blunt in response.  take ibuporferin.  he also said something about immune therapy and arthritis but i didn’t catch all of it..

        but……..3 ibuporefrin worked ….no more hip pain…….

         

         

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      ThinkingPositive
      Participant
      Here is the response from my oncologist about COVID-19 vax: “Nobody know the right answer in terms of timing of the vaccine with IO therapy. We are telling people to get it two weeks before IO therapy due to any potential inflammatory response”

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