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COVID-19 vaccination may be deferred for patients with active or recent cancer treatment

15th Mar 2021

We thank Mr Chan Kwee Kiaw for his letter (接种冠病疫苗的困惑, 26 Feb)

Mr Chan is correct to say that cancer patients who are in remission can be vaccinated. Patients who have recently completed treatment for cancer may seek clearance from their attending doctors that it is safe for them to continue with vaccinations and to provide them with a memo so that their medical status can be made known to the medical team at the vaccination centres. Otherwise, we currently recommend that persons who have had recent cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy should generally consider deferring vaccination for around 3 months.

Doctors at our vaccination sites assess each patient’s individual medical situation to determine their suitability for vaccination.  In Mr Chan’s case, the doctor was unable to obtain sufficient information through his electronic medical records or contact his attending doctor to verify his suitability for vaccination. He was hence declined out of precaution. We recommend Mr Chan to confirm his suitability with his attending specialist, and seek a memo with his assessment. With this information, Mr Chan can call the MOH hotline to reschedule his vaccination appointment.

Associate Professor Vernon Lee
Director, Communicable Diseases Division
Ministry of Health

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