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Topic: Where's our place in the vaccine line if treatment is done?

Forum: All things COVID-19 or coronavirus —

A place to discuss the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on you and the ones you love.

Posted on: Feb 24, 2021 09:06PM

PurpleCat wrote:

Just wondering what others have been told about signing up for the vaccine and where they fall in the lineup. I did my county's online questionnaire a month or so ago and didn't check the "health condition" box because, hooray, I no longer have cancer. I'm 2 years past radiation and just taking tamoxifen. Without any health conditions checked, being under 65, and not having a frontline job, I will be solidly in Phase 2, the last round of people to get the vaccine, currently looking to be around August or so in my state. But yesterday I had my six-month checkup and was told to go ahead and check that box due to past cancer, the chance (unlikely but possible) of heart/lung damage from the radiation, and the ongoing tamoxifen treatment and frequent followups, because "we don't really know" how much all of that affects my vulnerability. I'm torn. On the one hand, being able to get the vaccine sooner rather than later would feel like some compensation from the universe for all it's put me through over the past 2 1/2 years, what with the cancer and then several months of gyno drama resulting in a complete hysterectomy in two stages. I could really use a break, medically speaking. On the other hand, checking that box feels like tempting fate. Just wondered what others in the same situation had been told.

Dx 10/2018, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/4/2018 Lumpectomy Surgery 10/18/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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Feb 24, 2021 09:28PM FindingOptimism wrote:

The CDC lists cancer as a chronic condition. At least in my state having a specified chronic condition, regardless of how well it might be currently controlled, moves you to the first group. I have just decided it may be the only perk I get in this cancer voyage (that I never wanted to take).

Dx 8/2018, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Hormonal Therapy 12/12/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy Whole-breast: Breast
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Feb 24, 2021 09:36PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

If it’s any consolation, I have been stage IV for 10 years and am not eligible to be vaccinated yet in my county. Although I am still in treatment and likely always will be, I am not immune compromised. My mo confirmed that I would not be eligible yet. Frankly, even at stage IV I don’t feel the universe needs to compensate me for anything but I do think that I need to put those with greater need ahead of me.

In an odd twist, considering my stage IV status, I was given a vaccine appointment for 3/3 because I’m a teacher !

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Feb 25, 2021 08:31AM - edited Feb 25, 2021 08:32AM by SUPer52

My state is one of the few states that has included those under 65 years of age with certain medical conditions as part of their Phase 1A vaccine administration. In my local community, the hospitals first targeted the older population (after the front line healthcare workers). As more vaccine became available, they then started to administer to the younger population who had any of the phase 1A "qualifying" medical conditions. So even though there is a list of who is part of the first phase, the limited supply of vaccine caused the hospitals to prioritize within that list.

The questionnaire for the site where my vaccine was administered asked if you had "ever been diagnosed with cancer," so that made me eligible, but not until just this week. My first dose was yesterday. I am a high school teacher in a large public school in a district that sent all of the students back for in-person learning in January. My classroom is crowded, desks are less than 3 feet apart, students don't wear their masks correctly in the hallways or at all during lunch, several students in my classes have had Covid, one staff member passed away from Covid, and our district is less than transparent about how many cases are in our buildings. (Basically everything against what the CDC recommends) None of that helps me feel safety is important. Teachers are considered phase 1B and therefore are still not eligible in my state, so while I will never be glad I was diagnosed with cancer, I am glad to be able to qualify for the vaccine earlier than I would have been. I have a headache and a low-grade fever this morning, so I stayed home from school today, but I know too many healthy people my age (early to mid-fifties) who had Covid and ended up in the hospital for lengthy periods of time and are still dealing with significant effects. I didn't look at getting the vaccine as tempting fate but rather as "I didn't go through cancer surgeries and treatments to be taken out by Covid."

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, compassion, some humor, and some style." -Maya Angelou Dx 1/15/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 1/23/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 2/25/2019 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 4/8/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 5/11/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 25, 2021 08:41AM Melbo wrote:

I’m currently going through radiation and have H&P infusions every three weeks. My RO said I didn’t qualify for the vaccine since I wasn’t immuno-compromised. However, I was able to register for the vaccine yesterday because the site only specified “currently in active treatment for cancer.”

It definitely differs state by state, county by county, and at least in Maryland vaccine site by vaccine site. CVS had some appointments available yesterday as well, but I didn’t qualify for those because I wasn’t a health care worker or education worker.

Diagnosed right before my 42nd birthday. One husband, two dogs, one cat and no kids. Dx 7/16/2020, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Chemotherapy 8/7/2020 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 8/7/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 8/7/2020 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 12/20/2020 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy 1/31/2021 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Feb 25, 2021 09:04AM SummerAngel wrote:

In my state only those who are actively being treated for cancer or have finished treatment in the last month qualify for early vaccination.

Age at dx: 45. Oncotype, left-side tumor: 9. Right side had multifocal IDC and "extensive" LCIS. Isolated tumor cells in 1 right-side node. Dx 3/27/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 4/27/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 6/1/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 6/1/2015 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/27/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/3/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction
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Feb 25, 2021 09:16AM edj3 wrote:

My hospital system contacted me to schedule my first vaccine, and said I was high risk. I'm done with treatment and had early stage breast cancer so I was a little surprised. To be fair though, it may be a combination of the two cancers I've had plus the reactive airway disease I also have.

Regardless, I got my first dose on Valentine's Day (best VD gift ever) and get the second dose on 3/14.

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Surgery 5/6/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/3/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/23/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Feb 25, 2021 09:28AM - edited Feb 25, 2021 09:39AM by PurpleCat

Wow, what a lot of inconsistency among states, pharmacies, counties, and whoever else is being charged with rolling this thing out! The responses reported so far:

  • Having stage 4 doesn't qualify
  • Chronic conditions qualify, even if well managed, and cancer is categorized as a chronic condition
  • Prior history of cancer
  • In active cancer treatment
  • Active cancer treatment or having finished within the last month
  • WE will contact YOU to get you in even if you are done with treatment and it was early stage (edj, where do you live, and can you recommend a good realtor???)

As for timing, in my state, people ages 16-64 with health conditions are the very last group to be vaccinated before they open it up to the general public. So it likely won't make a lot of difference to my timeline anyway.

And even within states there has been inconsistency. The local hospital organization and several pharmacies in my area allow pre-registrations and will then contact people as they qualify. I registered with more than one local organization before the word got out that they don't want us doing that. My prior understanding had been that this was OK to do as long as I only accepted one appointment when they finally got to the phase where the (complete lack of) boxes I'd checked qualified me. Anyway, there were inconsistencies between the forms even in the same state. My husband's medical condition was listed in the signup from our local pharmacy but not the one from the hospital. So it's confusing and, frankly, frustrating. I'm very much a rule follower who would never dream of cutting ahead of anyone in a line, but I am starting to understand why there are reports of people traveling to different states where they would qualify for the vaccine.

Dx 10/2018, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/4/2018 Lumpectomy Surgery 10/18/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole) Surgery Prophylactic ovary removal
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Feb 25, 2021 11:53AM edj3 wrote:

purplecat, I live in Kansas (Kansas City area) and was gobsmacked to get that notification. I was pretty sure I would go with the general population but I was wrong.

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Surgery 5/6/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/3/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/23/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Feb 25, 2021 02:43PM exbrnxgrl wrote:

To clarify, having stage IV will qualify many for the vaccine but not all. If you are not immune compromised , you are not any greater risk just because you’re stage IV.

A prior history of cancer does not mean you are at greater risk.

Active treatment, especially if you are not immune compromised, doesn't put you at greater risk.

As I said, I am stage IV, in treatment but not immune compromised. I am perfectly fine letting those who are in need go first

Bilateral mx 9/7/11 with one step ns reconstruction. As of 11/21/11, 2cm met to upper left femur Dx 7/8/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 9/7/2011 Lymph node removal: Left; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Dx 11/2011, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, Grade 1, 1/15 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2- Hormonal Therapy 11/21/2011 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 11/21/2011 Bone Hormonal Therapy 6/19/2014 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane)
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Feb 25, 2021 02:59PM ctmbsikia wrote:

I registered with the county web site as a former smoker. They didn't ask if I still smoked or how much. I just did this a week ago and mainly to get the weekly email updates. There have been folks I know getting vaccinated who are way younger than me, not in health care, teachers, but getting vaccinated. Or, knowing someone at a pharmacy, or site, calling people in when there are missed appointments and they don't want to waste the vaccines. If you get a call, you had better be ready to get there, or else they call the next person. I also get updates thru the cancer center as well. They currently only have and are giving vaccines in the city proper (Philadelphia) to their patients. My dentist had signed up to get a shipment but now he's not getting any, and so in his email update, he expressed his disappointment to his patients.

It's still a bit of a cluster f here, and I imagine it will be a few more months for me. My stage IV sister did get her 1st shot.

Dx 12/14/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/16/2018, LCIS, Right Surgery 1/30/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/10/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/25/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 25, 2021 04:16PM SummerAngel wrote:

I went back to check for when immunocompromised people can get vaccinated in Colorado, and the site doesn't list it specifically at all. The chart is here if anyone is interested, just scroll down: https://covid19.colorado.gov/vaccine

My daughter is a pharmacy tech, she's been vaccinated and is currently doing about 45-50 Covid vaccinations per day.

Age at dx: 45. Oncotype, left-side tumor: 9. Right side had multifocal IDC and "extensive" LCIS. Isolated tumor cells in 1 right-side node. Dx 3/27/2015, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Dx 4/27/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 6/1/2015 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Surgery 6/1/2015 Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 8/27/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Silicone implant Surgery 12/3/2015 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction
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Feb 25, 2021 05:20PM Beesie wrote:

Well, for all of you in the U.S. concerned about when you will be eligible to get your vaccines, just be glad you aren't in Canada. Trump mandated that all U.S. manufactured vaccines must go to the U.S., so despite any contracts we may have had, our vaccines have to come from European manufacturing facilities. And they of course prioritize Europe. By around the date that the U.S. government is estimating that the U.S. will have enough doses to vaccinate everyone (logistics of getting shots into arms aside), I believe Canada will have received enough doses for less than 15% of our population. And for perspective, our population is about 1/10th the size of yours.




Dx 9/15/2005 Right, 7cm+, DCIS-Mi, Stage IA, Gr 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR- ** Dx 01/16/2019 Left, 8mm, IDC, Stage IA, Gr 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) ** Surgery 11/30/2005 MX Right, 03/06/2019 MX Left ** Hormonal Therapy 05/2019 Letrozole
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Feb 25, 2021 05:21PM Rain88 wrote:

The Mods have just posted some recent findings about the increased risk of covid and complications for 13 types of cancer. Breast cancer is among them. Here is the link:

https://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/cx-dx-i...

I am over in Canada, so not really sure when we'll have the vaccine available for the general population. While not really concerned, I can't help but wonder if not all of us should be considered a priority. I mean what if the vaccine can create complications unbeknownst yet because of past treatment and Tamoxifen in my case?

Dx 7/2019, IDC: Mucinous, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 11/27/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lumpectomy: Right
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Feb 25, 2021 05:37PM AliceBastable wrote:

It seems like some of the systems here in Missouri are random, but others are going by age and other things. My brother-in-law is 75 and just got his. My sister is 74 and just got an appointment for next Monday but in a different town and county than where we live. She's been driving me nuts for the last month because she is desperate to get the shot, not for any medical reason (she has no health conditions), but because she hates being home so much. Grrr. I'm 71 and have had multiple cancers, diabetes, and an active aneurysm, but I haven't heard anything from the two places I've signed up, my medical group and the state site. Our idiot governor has been sending most of the doses to rural areas where his supporters live, and under-supplying the urban areas. A niece-in-law is from a tiny town in southern Missouri, population maybe a few hundred, but they received 1,000 doses. I'm trying to be patient since I don't go many places. We did a lot of picnics in uncrowded parks last year for outings. But I'd prefer not to live like this forever.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Boring. Hope it stays that way. Dx 5/2018, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/11/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/8/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Feb 25, 2021 09:24PM SUPer52 wrote:

Rain,

Thank you for posting that link. I recently read a similar article from Penn Medicine. My takeaway is that it isn't only about having a suppressed immune system but also about other effects cancer treatments can have on our bodies which can result in reduced function of major organs. When I think about that, I think about common treatments even for those with a stage 1 diagnosis, such as radiation to the chest wall (for me, part of my lung could not be missed), the risk of damage to the heart from herceptin, the risk to kidney function from other treatments, etc.

Here is a link to the article I read: Penn Medicine News News Release

I wonder with this new report if more states will move anyone who is an oncology patient up in line for the vaccine. Thankfully it does seem that the vaccine supply, at least here in the US, is becoming more available.

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, compassion, some humor, and some style." -Maya Angelou Dx 1/15/2019, DCIS/IDC, Right, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 1/23/2019 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 2/25/2019 Lumpectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 4/8/2019 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 5/11/2019 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Feb 26, 2021 09:19AM edj3 wrote:

AliceBastable I see something similar, even though I'm on the Kansas side of Kansas City. My care team is on the Plaza so on the MO side and I wonder if that's why I got my first dose so early? Because in Kansas, the general population isn't slated to get their first dose until June (I thought I was general population, but St. Luke's says otherwise--I'm 61 so don't meet any age standard /shrug).

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Surgery 5/6/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/3/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/23/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Feb 26, 2021 04:58PM Rain88 wrote:

SUPer52, you echoed my thoughts exactly. Thank you for the article.

Dx 7/2019, IDC: Mucinous, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 11/27/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lumpectomy: Right
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Feb 26, 2021 04:59PM - edited Feb 26, 2021 04:59PM by Rain88

This Post was deleted by Rain88.
Dx 7/2019, IDC: Mucinous, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy 11/27/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lumpectomy: Right
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Feb 26, 2021 06:58PM RatherBeSailing wrote:

FWIW, the two cancer hospitals I've been treated at are both saying the same thing - that patients who are in active treatment should get the vaccine ahead of others, but patients who have a history of cancer are not at greater risk unless they have other underlying conditions, whether caused by cancer treatment or not.

Seems to me the articles basically support that. The breastcancer.org article says patients more than a year out have a 1.46 greater risk of catching Covid, compared to 7x for more recent cases. The recent cases also had greater rates of hospitalization, but I don't see anything on hospitalization rates for those further out? The Penn article doesn't stratify cases by age, and makes the point that cancer patients tend to be older than the general population, and by age alone may have more underlying conditions that put them at risk. And both articles point out the disparity for Black patients.

Having said all that, I'm more than a year out and want my shot now! Good luck, everyone.

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