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Should I Get a COVID-19 Vaccine if I Have CLL?

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Published on August 13, 2020

Should CLL Patients Get the COVID-19 Vaccine When It's Available?

Dr. Anthony Mato from Sloan Kettering, NYC, joins Patient Power Co-founder, Andrew Schorr to explain how CLL patients may respond to COVID-19 vaccines when they become available. Will people living with CLL need to rely on herd immunity to be safe from COVID-19? Watch the full discussion.

Program 2 of 6 from Answers Now Live Program: CLL and Covid 19: What's My Risk? recorded July 31, 2020

This is a Patient Power program. We thank AbbVie Inc. and Genentech, Inc. for their support. These organizations have no editorial control, and Patient Power is solely responsible for program content.


Transcript | Should I Get a COVID-19 Vaccine if I Have CLL?

Can CLL Patients Develop Antibodies From Vaccines?

Andrew Schorr:

You mentioned vaccines, so people want to know about that, we all want to know.

Dr. Mato:

Me too.

Andrew Schorr:

Okay. So if there is a vaccine or a group of vaccines, do you have any sense based on CLL being a disease of the immune system, that we will have an immune response that can protect us like it would others?

Dr. Mato:

I think that's a great question. I can't speak specifically to the COVID vaccines that are in development, but there's already a rich literature for other vaccines that are on the market, flu vaccines, pneumococcal vaccines, for example, that patients with CLL probably have not as good of a response to vaccines as the general population. In particular, patients who are on active therapy like anti CD20 antibodies, or who have low antibody levels for some other reason, or have T-cell dysfunction are probably the ones that are not having great responses to particular vaccines. With that being said, I think it's very important that the manufacturer of the new vaccines for COVID test them in immunocompromised patients.

And also, there's great hope that even if they don't work as well in CLL patients, that they will work well in enough of the immunocompetent patients that there'll be this concept of herd immunity so that the CLL patients indirectly will be protected because the spread of the virus will be markedly decreased.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.


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