We know that people affected by cancer may be feeling heightened concern about COVID-19 and whether or not to get vaccinated.

Update: Government announces plan for second boosters for vulnerable people

The Government is introducing a Bill to amend the Medicines Act, enabling voluntary booster doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to be administered to the most vulnerable (six months following their first booster) by all vaccinators without a prescription.

Health Minister Andrew Little and Associate Minister of COVID-19 Response, Ayesha Verrall, has announced that the proposed eligible group is:

  • people aged 65 years and over
  • Māori and Pacific peoples aged 50 years and over
  • Residents of aged care and disability care facilities
  • Severely immunocompromised people - who have received a three-dose primary course and a first booster.

The introduction of the Bill marks the beginning of a legislative process that may take up to the end of June to work through – at which time the second booster will be available.

Covid-19 vaccine and cancer

We know that people affected by cancer and their family/whānau will be anxious about getting the COVID-19 vaccination. Everyone over 12 years old can get the vaccination now.

You can find your nearest vaccination centre and book an appointment at:

Go the Book my Vaccine website

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/-d96FGJmbR4?autoplay=0&modestbranding=1&rel=0

Te Aho o Te Kahu / Cancer Control Agency recommendations

Te Aho o Te Kahu (the Cancer Control Agency) has information for people with cancer and the Covid-19 vaccination.

They recommend:

  • People with cancer are at an increased risk of getting COVID-19 and have a greater risk of serious infection if they do get COVID-19
  • People with cancer should get the COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Talk to your cancer doctor, as depending on what treatment you are on, they may want to time the vaccine to be delivered at a certain point in your treatment cycle.
  • If you have been discharged from hospital services, we recommend you talk to your GP if you have questions or concerns.
  • The Ministry of Health is approving and recommending a third dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for people who are immunocompromised.

    Read more on the Ministry of Health website.

Te Aho o Te Kahu / Cancer Control Agency resources and more information

Te Aho o Te Kahu / Cancer Control Agency has published information and advice for people with cancer and their whānau under the Red traffic light setting.

There is also prepared guidance on vaccinations for people with cancer.

We recommend the website from Hei Āhuru Mōwai for more information in Te Reo.

Overseas experience with cancer and COVID-19 vaccination

Medical professionals in other countries have had a lot more experience with COVID-19 and it's impact on people with cancer.

Earlier this year Dr Chris Jackson spoke with UK oncologist Dr Sanjay Popat about vaccination  to highlight the importance of protecting people with cancer.

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/embed/m-BHDS5JY3g?autoplay=0&modestbranding=1&rel=0
Need someone to talk to?
8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday
0800 226 237 Information nurse

We know that going through cancer is tough and can raise many questions. You are not alone.

We have nurses and counsellors to answer your questions and provide the support you need. Get in touch

Last updated: June 8, 2022