Marina Garassino, MD, discusses the distribution of the coronavirus disease 2019 vaccine to patients with cancer in Italy.
Marina Garassino, MD, a medical consultant in the Medical Oncology Division of the National Cancer Institute of Milan, discusses the distribution of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine to patients with cancer in Italy.
Thus far, patients with cancer in Italy have not received the COVID-19 vaccine, as the immunization of frontline healthcare workers was priority, says Garassino. At the National Cancer Institute of Milan, nearly all healthcare workers have received the vaccine, with very few declining immunization, Garassino explains.
A new vaccination strategy is slated to emerge from the Italian government, and while it is not clear what it will entail, the next phase of prioritized individuals will likely be those working in schools and universities, military personnel, and patients with cancer, according to Garassino. In particular, patients with hematologic malignancies and thoracic cancers will likely be given priority, Garassino concludes.