NCCS joined with a group of patient and provider advocacy groups in a letter to the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) on vaccine allocation. In the letter, the groups articulate the substantial risk that cancer patients face during the pandemic and shared data on the negative outcomes of patients with cancer and concurrent COVID-19. The letter also discusses the lasting effects of the pandemic on cancer patients, including delays in cancer care and delays in diagnosis of cancer. With these concerns, the Cancer Leadership Council (CLC) urged the Academy to include people with cancer in Phase IB of the vaccine allocation plan.
The letter states, “Cancer patients are at significantly higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease or death because of their cancer diagnosis, and they should not be required to have a second comorbid condition to receive vaccine in Phase IB.”
Additionally, the CLC urged the Academy to address implementation issues associated with and triggered by its framework as soon as possible. Some of these issues involved questions around access to vaccines, public education, confirming a cancer diagnosis for vaccine eligibility, and screening at immunization sites. NCCS appreciates the opportunity to comment on the Discussion Draft of the Preliminary Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine.
Read the full CLC letter below.