Third Covid vaccination essential for people with breast cancer

Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) and the Federal Government are urging women and men with breast cancer to get their third Covid-19 vaccine dose – the booster shot – as soon as they are eligible to provide them with maximum protection against Covid.

Health experts advise that anyone on active treatment with chemotherapy, hormone therapy or radiotherapy can receive a third vaccine two months after their second vaccination unlike the general population that must wait six months.

Cancer treatment compromises the immune system, which could result in severe complications if a person contracted Covid-19.

Breast Cancer Network CEO Kirsten Pilatti says now that Covid-19 is circulating in the community the so-called booster shot is essential for the vulnerable.

“If you have breast cancer a third vaccine is not an optional extra, it is as important as the first and second doses. We know that those who are immunocompromised may not respond as well to the vaccines resulting in a weaker defence against Covid -19,” says Ms Pilatti.

Federal Health and Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt says that nearly half a million Australians are now eligible for their booster dose.

“Two doses provide excellent protection against Covid-19 and a third dose will ensure longer and greater protection.

“The medical experts recommend that people who are severely immunocompromised should receive a third dose.

“I encourage all those who are eligible to speak to their medical professional, especially if your health or the health of a loved one is compromised,” says Minister Hunt.

It is recommended that the third vaccine be an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer of Moderna) regardless of what brand the first two doses were.

Individuals should contact their health professional with any concerns or call BCNA’s Helpline on 1800 500 258.

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