Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) and the Federal Government are urging women and men with breast cancer to get their third COVID-19 vaccine dose as soon as they are eligible to provide them with maximum protection against COVID-19.
People being treated with chemotherapy, hormone-blocking therapy or radiotherapy can receive a third vaccine two months after their second vaccination, unlike the general population who must wait six months.
Cancer treatment compromises the immune system which could result in severe complications if a person contracted COVID-19. Breast Cancer Network Australia CEO Kirsten Pilatti says now that COVID-19 is circulating in the community a third vaccination is essential for the vulnerable. “If you have breast cancer a third shot should not be an optional extra. It is as important as the first and second doses. We know that those who are immunocompromised may not respond as well to the vaccines, resulting in a weaker defence against COVID.”
Federal Health and Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt said nearly half a million Australians are now eligible for their booster dose. “Two doses provide excellent protection against COVID-19 and a third dose will ensure longer and greater protection.”
"The medical experts recommend that people who are severely immunocompromised should receive a third dose. I encourage all those who are eligible to speak to their medical professional, especially if your health or the health of a loved one is compromised.”
It is recommended that the third vaccine be an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer of Moderna) regardless of what brand the first two doses were.
Individuals should contact their GP or breast cancer specialist to discuss whether they should have a third dose now. BCNA’s Helpline can provide general advise - call 1800 500 258.
More information is available on BCNA's My Journey.