With an increasing number of individuals who are getting their COVID-19 vaccines, cancer patients are in a quandary on whether they should be vaccinated. Now, a number of cancer experts have weighed in on the issue.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has revealed that there is a general consensus that vaccines are considered safe for most cancer patients. However, the health society admitted that there is still not much data on whether the vaccine will be effective for patients with cancer. What the body suggests is for cancer patients to discuss their options with their doctor.

Dr. Laura Makaroof, Senior Vice President for Prevention and Early Detection of the American Cancer Society, said that there are certain factors involved which may lead patients to delay vaccination. One example is undergoing a recent stem cell transplant. Another is the recent use of therapy agents, which are known to reduce the efficacy of vaccines.

Dr. Makaroff told CNN that every cancer patient's situation is somewhat a bit different. While the COVID-19 vaccine is safe for the patient, she stressed the importance of having a conversation with the health care provider to make a proper determination on the right time to be vaccinated.

Despite the limited data, medical groups, doctors, and cancer experts are pushing for vaccination of most cancer patients, especially those who are considered at very high risk during the pandemic.

Dr. Brian Koffman, the medical officer for CLL Society said that the potential benefits of the vaccine for cancer patients far outweigh the risks. CLL Society is a group which represents those patients who are suffering from chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).

Patients with CLL who develop COVID-19 have a high risk of hospitalisation, hence, vaccination may thwart the risk. Those with CLL have a weakened immune system, putting them at the high-risk group.

Cancer patients and vaccination for coronavirus. Pixabay

"The thing that people don't quite realize is that the impaired immune system in CLL patients -- due to the disease or some of the treatments for the disease -- can actually impact your response to vaccination...We recommend the Covid-19 vaccines for our patients... but we're not really sure how effective it's going to be..." Dr Chaitra Ujjani, a Seattle Cancer Care Alliance physician and oncology professor said.