Chairman of the Cancer Society Dr Asante Le Blanc.

Chairman of the Trinidad and Tobago Cancer Society Dr Asante Le Blanc is pleading with eligible cancer patients to get their third primary dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“You’re immune system is your army. It’s your defence against all infections. We know that cancer patients who are undergoing active cancer treatment have compromised immune systems. This means you may have been fully vaccinated. However, owing to your status of being in treatment right now, especially with solid tumours and blood cancers, you do need an extra umph, an extra help and that is what this third dose is about,” she said during Wednesday’s virtual press conference.

“We plead with you to get that third shot if it’s applicable. We plead with you to speak with your oncology team as they will direct you and guide you as to when it’s necessary.”

She said the need for these patients to enhance their protection is increased given the current increasing numbers of cases.

“The reality is the COVID-19 pandemic is not letting up. The reality is we’re seeing much more deaths. The reality is that we have measures that can help to protect us all. We have the three Ws and we have the vaccination. We have vaccines available,” she said.

Cancer patients will be eligible for an additional primary dose of any COVID-19 vaccine currently available locally. The same goes for those who are severely or moderately immunocompromised regardless of age. Those over 60 years of age but who don’t meet this criterion will be able to receive a third primary dose of Sinopharm.