EPR22-114: Acceptance of SARS-CO-2 Vaccination Among Cancer Patients: Experience of Radiation Therapy Center in Tunisia

Authors:
Rihab Melliti Farhat Hached Hospital of Sousse, Tunisia

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R. Melliti Farhat Hached Hospital of Sousse, Tunisia

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S. Tbessi Farhat Hached Hospital of Sousse, Tunisia

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A. Chamsi Farhat Hached Hospital of Sousse, Tunisia

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H. Ouaz Farhat Hached Hospital of Sousse, Tunisia

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F. Bouguerra Farhat Hached Hospital of Sousse, Tunisia

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S. Belajouza Farhat Hached Hospital of Sousse, Tunisia

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N. Bouzid Farhat Hached Hospital of Sousse, Tunisia

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S. Tebra Farhat Hached Hospital of Sousse, Tunisia

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INTRODUCTION: Coronavirus vaccination is strongly recommended for cancer patients. However, there is a limited data regarding cancer patients’ attitudes towards COVID -19 vaccination. We aim to evaluate cancer patients’ willingness to take COVID-19 vaccination and to identify predictive factors influencing their decision in order to promote vaccine uptake rates. METHODS: A unicentric, cross-sectional anonymous survey conducted on voluntary cancer patients with a solid malignancy regardless of the tumor stage or current oncological treatment, attending the ambulatory care unit of the radiation oncology department of Farhat Hached Hospital of Sousse from September to October 2021. Univariate and multivariate analyses assessed for predictors of vaccination acceptance. RESULTS: 132 cancer patients were included. The majority of which were women (74.2%; sex ratio of 0.34) with a median age of 56 years [28-86]. 89.4% of patients were not vaccinated against the seasonal flu within the last 5 years. Breast cancer was the most frequent cancer site (50%) then head and neck cancers (18.2%) and gynecological malignancies (10.6%). Cancer was localised in 47.7% of cases, locally advanced in 39.4% of cases and metastatic in 12.9% of cases. Patients were under active treatment in 67.4% of cases. Most patients had a complete response (70.2%) when 6.6% had a partial response and 15.7% had a progressing disease. Patients who contracted COVID-19 represented 28.8% of cases. Half patients received COVID19 vaccine (57.6%). In addition, 64.4% of cancer patients reported that they intend to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2, 22.7% reported being unsure while 12.9% reported definitely refuse vaccination. Fear of vaccine’s side effects and waiting until the end of current treatment were the main reasons for vaccine hesitancy (15.6% and 17.6% respectively). 45.5% of patients discussed the vaccine uptake with their oncologist. Half of patients were willing to receive an eventual third booster dose (56.5%). In univariate analysis, confidence level in the authorities played a significant role is patient’s acceptance of the vaccine (p<0.001), fear of vaccine’s side effects (p<0.001) as well as consulting the referent oncologist (p<0.001) and history of influenza vaccine (p=0.03). CONCLUSION: Adherence to COVID19 vaccine is high in our population of cancer patients. Health care providers should play a major role in aiding cancer patients’ decision-making.

Corresponding Author: Rihab Melliti, MD
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