COVID-19 Vaccination Reduces Mortality Risk in Patients With Cancer

Increased travel burden is associated with a decreased likelihood of receiving adjuvant chemotherapy
Increased travel burden is associated with a decreased likelihood of receiving adjuvant chemotherapy
Researchers assessed the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination among patients with cancer.

Vaccination against COVID-19 infection was associated with improved morbidity and mortality outcomes in patients with cancer, according to results of a study published in the European Journal of Cancer.

Researchers investigated the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccination in patients with cancer. Registry data from OnCovid (, NCT04393974) was used to assess outcomes of COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality among patients on the basis of vaccination status. The registry listed 3237 patients, of whom 2090 were diagnosed with COVID-19 infection between February 2020 and November 2021 and included in the analysis.

Of 2090 patients, 1930 (92.3%) were unvaccinated, 91 (4.4%) were fully vaccinated, and 69 (3.3%) were partially vaccinated. Among patients who were fully or partially vaccinated, most received the BNT162b2 vaccine (59.3%), followed by the mRNA-1273 (19.8%), ChAdOx1-S (17.6%), and the JNJ-78436735 vaccines (3.3%). Compared with unvaccinated patients, residing in the United Kingdom (P =.0003) and systemic anticancer therapy at the time of COVID-19 diagnosis (P =.0082) was significantly more likely among those who were fully vaccinated. No other patient characteristics were significantly associated with vaccination status.

When compared with unvaccinated patients, there was a significant increase in the case fatality rate among fully vaccinated patients at days 14 (5.5% vs 20.7%, P =.0004) and days 28 (13.2% vs 27.4%, P =.0028) following a diagnosis of COVID-19 infection. Further comparisons between these patients showed that full vaccination was significantly associated with decreases in COVID-19-related symptoms (P =.0070), therapy (P <.0001), and complications (P =.0379). Full vaccination also was associated with a significantly decreased risk for hospitalization (P =.0007) and need for oxygen therapy (P =.0036).

In an analysis of 1228 patients who received a formal assessment at a median of 40 (IQR, 25-68) days following their COVID-19 diagnosis, fully vaccinated patients experienced less sequelae vs unvaccinated patients (6.7% vs 17.2%, P =.0320).

This study was limited by its retrospective design, the small number of fully vaccinated patients, the use of registry data, the inconsistent method of data collection, and the potential underreporting of asymptomatic breakthrough infections. Although COVID-19-related outcomes were improved among fully vaccinated patients, the researchers were unable to confirm these findings via inverse probability treatment weighting.

“Universal SARS-CoV-2 vaccination should remain a goal in the management of patients with cancer during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic,” the researchers concluded.


Pinato DJ, Ferrante D, Aguilar-Company J, et al. Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 protects from morbidity, mortality and sequelae from COVID19 in patients with cancer. Eur J Cancer. Published online May 23, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.ejca.2022.04.036