National Comprehensive Cancer Network updates guidance on COVID-19 vaccination – Healio

September 22, 2022

1 min read


National Comprehensive Cancer Network has updated its recommendations on COVID-19 vaccination for patients with cancer.

The revised guidance, available online at nccn.org/covid-19, includes information on bivalent vaccines and protection for children with cancer, according to an NCCN press release.

Man holding needle and bottle

“Our committee of leading experts meets frequently to examine all of the latest research and organizes it into a clear, one-stop source for people with cancer, their loved ones and their health teams,” Robert W. Carlson, MD, CEO of NCCN, said in the press release. “We’ve expanded our committee for this latest update to include a focus on pediatric patients. Some of the foremost authorities on children’s health care joined multidisciplinary physicians from across NCCN’s member institutions, which also included expertise in vaccine development and delivery, infectious diseases, cancer management and medical ethics.”

Robert W. Carlson, MD

Robert W. Carlson

Additions to the guidance from the NCCN Advisory Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination and Pre-exposure Prophylaxis include:

  • The committee supports the recent approval of a bivalent booster for immunosuppressed individuals who received a three-dose primary series and boosting under previous recommendations and are aged 12 years or older (for Pfizer) or aged 18 years or older (for Moderna). However, it cautious that data are still awaited on the effectiveness of the bivalent booster in immunocompromised individuals.
  • The preferred mRNA vaccine is Moderna for immunosuppressed people aged 6 months to 17 years.
  • Myocarditis cases are very rare, preliminary data show, but relatively more common among adolescent and young adult males aged 16 years or older. Most patients completely recover.

“It is especially important for eligible household members and caregivers to make sure they are vaccinated, as well, since immunocompromised children under age 12 [years] or weighing less than 40 kg are unable to receive monoclonal antibodies for protection,” Tina Q. Tan, MD, infectious diseases physician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Northwestern Medicine and co-leader of the NCCN committee, said in the press release.

Vaccinated patients with cancer should continue to wear masks, practice social distancing and follow other nonpharmacologic recommendations to prevent COVID-19, according to the committee.