Should cancer patients get the COVID-19 vaccine? It depends

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Dr. Andi Sharp of Mayo Clinic Jacksonville is a big supporter of breast cancer research not just because of her profession, but also because of her life experience.

“Not only as a physician, but also as someone who’s been challenged with the diagnosis of cancer and been through treatments,” said Sharp.

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Back in 2016, she was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer and had to undergo surgery and six weeks of radiation.

She admits she had her reservations about getting the COVID-19 vaccine at first, so she did what any good doctor would do.

“I’ve done a lot of reading and research and I feel very confident in this vaccine,” Sharp said.

She was one of the first Mayo Clinic staff members in Jacksonville to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The American Cancer Society said people with cancer or a history of cancer can get some vaccines, but it depends on many factors like the type of vaccine, the type of cancer, if you’re still being treated and if your immune system is working properly.

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Which is why Sharp said each person’s situation is different.

“I think the most important is that it is a choice, and it should be an educated choice, and a choice in conjunction with your health care provider. So have an open conservation about risks and benefits,” Sharp said.