This page was last updated on 1/14/2021. Please check back frequently for updates.
Informational Webinar on the COVID-19 Vaccine & Patients with Cancer
On December 17, 2020, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (the Society) and Infectious Diseases Society of America held a “COVID-19 Vaccine & Patients with Cancer” webinar to discuss the importance of COVID-19 vaccination and to provide expert opinion on its use for cancer patients.
The recording of the webinar can be found here.
CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has approved several recommendations regarding the prioritization of COVID-19 vaccination. Once approved by the CDC, these recommendations are intended to help state and local jurisdictions maximize the distribution of the vaccines while they are still in scarce supply. These recommendations are not binding mandates, nor do they relate to the allocation of the vaccine itself which is being managed separately within HHS. To date, they have recommended the following priority groupings:
Phase 1a: The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended, as interim guidance, that both (1) health care personnel and (2) residents of long-term care facilities be offered COVID-19 vaccine in the initial phase of the vaccination program.
Phase 1b: persons aged ≥75 years and frontline essential workers. For purposes of this recommendation, the following essential workers are considered frontline: firefighters, police officers, corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, those who work in the education sector (teachers, and support staff), and daycare workers.
Phase 1c: persons aged 65–74 years, persons aged 16–64 years with high-risk medical conditions, and other essential workers. Cancer has been identified as one of the high-risk medical conditions for Phase 1c.
CDC is regularly updating the number of vaccines distributed and administered at this link.
Provider and Practice Information
ASCO has prepared a special report, A Guide to Cancer Care Delivery During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The report, developed with input from clinical experts, including ASCO’s Clinical Practice Committee, the COVID-19 Clinical Questions Advisory Group, and others, is intended to assist practices in developing their policies related to triage, screening, diagnostic testing, infection prevention and control, telemedicine, and other aspects of practice operations. This guide is available in eight languages: Arabic, Chinese (simplified), English, French, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, and Spanish (Latin America).
COVID-19 Resources for Research Sites
The ASCO Research Community Forum has compiled resources to help support oncology researchers in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a rapidly evolving situation and these resources will be updated on a regular basis. If you have a resource you would like to share, please e-mail ASCO Research Community Forum staff.
In April and May 2020, ASCO hosted two webinar series to share important information and answer participant questions about the management of cancer and blood disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Recordings will remain available for those who would like to review sessions.
- Recordings from the ASCO-ONS Webinar Series: Caring for People with Cancer during COVID-19 Pandemic
- Recordings from the ASCO Global Webinar Series: Experiences and Lessons During the COVID-19 Pandemic
ASCO/ACCC Webinar. ASCO also co-hosted a webinar with the Association of Community Cancer Centers on the ASCO Survey on COVID-19 in Oncology Registry (ASCO Registry). Recording
ASCO Guidance on Allocation of Scarce Resources During COVID-19 Pandemic
ASCO released new recommendations for the oncology community to consider as institutions across the country potentially face making difficult decisions about allocation of resources. The recommendations are not meant to be a guide for making individual allocation decisions.
The recommendations affirm the “inherent worth and dignity of each patient affected by cancer” and state that allocation decision processes “should not unconditionally deny patients with cancer consideration for access to scarce resources.”
Read the full recommendations published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
For a list of additional ethics resources, please view COVID-19 Ethics Resources for Oncologists.
Monitoring Drug Shortages During COVID-19 Pandemic
ASCO encourages its members to work together to ensure judicious use of any scarce resources. It is quite possible that we will experience drug shortages as the pandemic continues, but there are resources available with reliable information. The FDA maintains a list of drugs in shortage, which includes information on expected duration of shortage and alternative suppliers, when available.
The FDA has requested that providers report any critical drug or biological products that may be in shortage or being closely monitored or rationed in your facility. Please include in your submission why the drug is considered critical in your practice. To report a shortage, visit How to Report a Product Shortage or Supply Issue to FDA.
Understanding the Impact of COVID-19 on Cancer Care
CancerLinQ has compiled data on the impact of COVID-19 on various aspects of cancer care. Visit COVID-19 ASCO/CancerLinQ Data Insights for regular updates.
Articles from ASCO Journals to Assist Providers and Practices
Through the public health emergency, ASCO Journals will continue to expedite the publication of articles related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following articles have been accepted for publication after peer review and are available as preliminary versions.
Providing oncology pharmacy services during the coronavirus pandemic: French Society for Oncology Pharmacy (Société Francaise de Pharmacie Oncologique-SFPO) guidelines, Pourroy, et al, published in JCO Oncology Practice.
Oncology dietitians sound alarm in key nutrition needs of cancer patients during COVID-19 pandemic. Gibbs, et al, published in JCO Oncology Practice.
Recently published articles in ASCO Journals related to COVID-19 are available on the ASCO Publications site.