According to the latest Ministry of Health guidelines, COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for cancer patients, including those on active cancer treatment.
All the categories below apply to Pfizer-BioNTech/Comirnaty, Moderna and Sinovac-CoronaVac COVID-19 vaccines, based on data currently available. These recommendations may change as more data becomes available locally and globally.
Active cancer not on treatment with chemotherapy, radiotherapy or immunotherapy
CAN be vaccinated at any available vaccination site.
Active cancer not on treatment is defined as:
a) Not on any treatment in the past 3 months
b) No planned treatment in the next 2 months.
Persons on active cancer treatment:
CAN be considered for vaccination,
after assessment by their primary oncologist on the eligibility. The primary oncologist will write a memo which the patient can take along with them to any available vaccination site to get vaccinated.
If you are a NCCS patient, there are two ways to get the COVID-19 vaccination:
i) If you are currently
NOT on active cancer treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or immunotherapy, you should register at www.vaccine.gov.sg for vaccination at any available vaccination site as part of the national COVID-19 vaccination programme.
Patients on endocrine therapy alone, can also register for vaccination at any available vaccination site .
ii) If you
ARE CURRENTLY on active cancer chemotherapy, radiation therapy or immunotherapy (OR have received these treatments in the past 3 months or planned to receive these treatments in the next 2 months), and wish to be vaccinated, please seek your doctor’s advice at your next NCCS outpatient clinic consultation. Your doctor will discuss with you the risk and benefits of COVID-19 vaccination while you are on active cancer treatment and assess your eligibility to have the vaccination based on your clinical condition. If assessed to be eligible and you wish to proceed with vaccination, your doctor will write you a memo which you can take along to any available vaccination site to get vaccinated.
Why do cancer patients need to take three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as part of their initial vaccination?
Cancer patients may have a blunted immune response to vaccination, and may not develop good protection against the virus with two vaccine doses. There is evidence that they would benefit from a third dose of the vaccine as it helps to develop a more protective immune response.
Three doses of COVID-19 vaccination are recommended by the Ministry of Health for persons who are immunocompromised (e.g. cancer patients on active treatment with chemotherapy and immunosuppressive therapy) as part of the enhanced primary vaccination course.
Cancer patients should receive a third dose of the vaccine two months after their second dose as part of an enhanced primary vaccine course of vaccination.
With the high number of cases in the community, cancer patients are encouraged to get vaccinated. Vaccination can reduce the risk of severe complications or death from COVID-19 infection, and this is particularly important for cancer patients who may be at higher risk should infection occur.
I am currently on active cancer treatment - how and when should I get the third dose?
For persons who are immunocompromised, it is recommended that you receive a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine you received for the first two doses. The third dose of the vaccine should be taken two months after your second dose.
Please consult your doctor about the optimal timing of your vaccination if you are on active cancer treatment.
Patients who are on active cancer treatment can take COVID-19 vaccines safely. However, your doctor may sometimes advise delaying vaccination to a time when the vaccine may be more effective (e.g. after completion of aggressive cancer treatment). Please discuss with your doctor on the optimal timing of your third dose.
While waiting to get your vaccination, you are strongly advised to avoid crowded places where the risk of exposure to infection is high, and to strictly adhere to safe management measures, such as wearing a face mask, frequent handwashing with soap, safe distancing, only going out for essentials, using TraceTogether and seeking prompt medical attention if feeling unwell.
Cancer patients who are immunocompromised and have completed the 3-dose enhanced primary vaccination series are recommended to receive a fourth booster dose of a mRNA vaccine, six months later.
Please discuss with your doctor on the optimal timing of your fourth booster dose. * All individuals aged 30 years and above are recommended to receive a booster dose. Refer to MOH FAQs for more information.
The Expert Committee on COVID-19 Vaccination has recommended that for the booster dose, the two mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) can be used interchangeably, regardless of which one was taken for the initial three doses.
General questions on safety and efficacy of vaccines for cancer patients
Subscribe to our mailing list to get the updates to your email inbox...
11 Hospital Crescent, Singapore 169610 +65 6436 8000