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Canadian Cancer Society statement on vaccine prioritization for people with cancer

The COVID-19 vaccine is a critical part of ending the pandemic and helping people with cancer. The fewer COVID-19 cases we have, the more likely it is that cancer care will not be impacted and those with cancer will have a better chance of surviving. 

People with cancer may be at an increased risk of more severe outcomes from COVID-19. That’s why the vaccine must be available and accessible now to those who are most vulnerable, including those who are facing cancer and those who care for people with cancer. They cannot afford to wait. 

Through our helpline and online community, we continue to hear from people affected by cancer who want more clear information about COVID-19, and access to vaccines sooner.

We call on governments to protect the health and safety of those living with cancer as part of their COVID-19 response plans. People with cancer should be prioritized to receive the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before the general population. Healthcare providers should be empowered to determine the best timing of the second dose based on the unique circumstances of their patients.

As the voice for Canadians who care about cancer, we will continue to advocate to governments to best support people affected by cancer immediately. Learn more about our COVID-19 response at cancer.ca. To help you advocate for vaccine-related issues, we have developed a self-advocacy toolkit.

Support is available

Now more than ever, CCS’s digital and phone support programs are critical to people affected by cancer, providing information, reducing anxiety and limiting feelings of isolation. Programs available include:

A national helpline, available in 200 languages, that is accessible to anyone with questions about cancer (1-888-939-3333 or info@cis.cancer.ca)

A directory of 4,000+ services supporting those affected by cancer
An online forum to share experiences and support for anyone impacted by cancer
Our website with trusted health information and a live chat

Sessions provide expert input on central issues affecting people living with cancer and their caregivers



We encourage people with cancer to talk to their doctor about the COVID-19 vaccine and to ask questions around timing of the doses.