Impact of COVID vaccines on oncology patients – a conversation with doctor Justin Stebbing

Impact of COVID vaccines on oncology patients – a conversation with doctor Justin Stebbing

On Friday,  Prof.dr Vladimir Kovčin and Prof.dr Justin Stebbing participated in a virtual conversation on Zoom that was hosted by the Flexitarian Society Foundation.

Doctor Stebbing is a world renowned oncologist who graciously accepted to talk about the effects of COVID 19 vaccines on oncology patients.

After welcoming the guest speakers and thanking the representatives of the media and guests from England and France, doctor Kovčin began the conversation by asking doctor Stebbing about his experience with the vaccination of cancer patients.

He stated that there are no guidelines at the moment and asked doctor Justin if it’s necessary to postpone cancer therapy when vaccinating oncology patients.

Doctor Justin stated that the vaccines are safe and effective and that during chemotherapy and even with people with suppressed immunity, the vaccines should be given as quickly as possible.

Doctor Stebbing stated that  : “The mortality in COVID is up to 1/3 if you have cancer”.

However, he said that for patients with blood cancer, hematological malignancies the vaccines seem to be a little less effective.

Still, the vaccines, no matter which ones, protect cancer patients and protect them from hospitalization, the data shows that you can get more viral variants in cancer patients and that we need to protect them.

He gave an example of Chile, which had one of the best rollout of vaccines in the world but are still overcome with the virus since the vaccines were not as effective.

Doctor Kovčin shared his experience with working with cancer patients in Serbia and gained valuable insight from doctor Stebbing’s research.

Doctor Stebbing said that we only measure antibodies and that we have no way to measure T cells, which is why the antibody tests are not as reliable in showing us if we are protected when we get the vaccine.

An interesting question was posed by the member of the board of the Flexitarian Society Foundation, Frano Lasić, whether the virus was artificial or not.

Doctor Stebbing stated that it’s definitely not artificial, and that the real question is if it was stored in a laboratory and escaped from it. It is very difficult to prove it, but he stated it’s a natural virus found in bats.

“A man made virus wouldn’t be this successful, because you can’t as a man compete against biology”.

While talking about the mutations, doctor Stebbing concluded that : ” The virus has no desire, it has no intent, it has no wishes other than to replicate it’s genetic material”.

Doctor Kovčin recommended we benefit from doctor Stebbing’s expertise by organising monthly Zoom events.

The conclusion was to listen to the data because, as doctor Stebbing said, what we feel and think is often different from what the data shows, so we must listen to the science.

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