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Annals of Oncology ; 32:S1146, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1432889


Background: Early data suggested a higher risk of COVID-19 in oncology patients, in particular those with co-morbidities or on systemic anticancer therapy (SACT). Immunisation strategies are likely to be critical in risk-reduction patient management. We examined patients' attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines, studying factors affecting uptake such as demographics, socioeconomics, cancer diagnoses and treatments, and previous influenza vaccination. Methods: An anonymised questionnaire was distributed among oncology patients attending for SACT from November to December 2020. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS v23 (IBM, Armonk, NY, USA). Results: In total 115 patients completed the survey. Of these, 30 (26%) were aged > 65, 65 (56%) were female and 54 (47%) were treated for metastatic disease. Overall 68 (59%) were receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy, and 15 (13%) were receiving immunotherapy. The most common cancer was breast (29%), followed by colorectal (18%) and lung (10%). Most patients (72%) had received or were intending to receive the influenza vaccine. Of patients surveyed 19 (17%) had friends or family who had been diagnosed with COVID-19, while only 3 (2.6%) had had COVID-19. The majority (81%) were in favour of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine if it was recommended for them. A small number however (5.2%) were against receiving a vaccine. Similar numbers of patients worried (30%) and did not worry (33%) that a COVID-19 vaccine could be unsafe. Interestingly 42% stated they if a COVID-19 vaccine were to be made available they would prefer to wait rather than to get it immediately. Patients who had received or intended to receive the influenza vaccine were less likely to want to delay receiving a COVID-19 vaccine (p=0.018). Age group, education level and palliative treatment was not associated with a significant difference in vaccine acceptance. Conclusions: The majority of patients surveyed were agreeable to COVID-19 vaccination, particularly those with prior influenza vaccination. An interesting finding was that though 42% of patients would prefer not to be first to receive the vaccine the majority welcomed vaccination. This finding, especially within a cohort regarded as being "highly vulnerable” to COVID, may have implications for the vaccine program in the general population. Legal entity responsible for the study: The authors. Funding: Has not received any funding. Disclosure: All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.