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Cancer patients weigh option on whether to get COVID-19 vaccine

WOIO Cleveland logo WOIO Cleveland 3/19/2021 Aria Janel
a close up of a glass: Cancer patients way option on whether to get COVID-19 vaccine © Provided by WOIO Cleveland Cancer patients way option on whether to get COVID-19 vaccine

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cancer patients are among the 1.5 million people who are now eligible to get the vaccine, but their journey to getting vaccinated is a little more complicated than just signing up.

“Within three days, I was in the operating room having my entire kidney removed along with the tumor,” said Rich Moore.

Rich Moore, a patient at Seidman Cancer Center at University Hospitals, sat his family down last year in the middle of the pandemic and told them he had kidney cancer.

Activities were canceled, and family trips were postponed, a conversation hard to have with his son.

“Putting a little of the responsibility, and a little bit of the burden on his shoulders for him to understand that we as a family have to be very cautious because your dad has a condition that could make him very sick if he got COVID,” said Moore.

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You’d think that with the vaccine available, Moore would be one of the first in line.

But with the immunotherapy, Moore had a big question for his doctor, since there are huge questions on how effective the vaccine will be.

”The one thing we don’t know for sure at this point is how effective the vaccine will be for people in my situation which is having cancer and going through immunotherapy,” said Moore. “The easy solution to that question is wait a couple weeks after the second vaccine, go get an antibody test make sure you have the antibodies that are going to do the job to protect you”.

“I had a large, tumor that was about two inches big, by like an inch-and-a- half and then a small one that they didn’t think was cancerous on the left,” said Ross.

Stacie Ross is a cancer survivor. She told 19 News, after talking to her doctor and getting the thumbs up, there was no question that getting the COVID-19 shot was the right thing to do.

“I can’t handle being sick again, and I really don’t want to get other people sick. That’s my biggest motivator I don’t want to be the one that passes it on.”

Here are two big takeaways from the conversations our team had with patients and health professionals:

  1. Don’t skip your yearly exams.
  2. If you have a pre-existing condition, check with your doctor to make sure the COVID-19 shot is right for you.

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