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06-08-2021 | Oncology | News | Article

News in brief

COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy more common in women than men with cancer

Shreeya Nanda

medwireNews: Women with cancer appear to be more reticent about receiving COVID-19 vaccination than men, indicates a single-center study.

As reported in a letter to the European Journal of Cancer, the rate of refusal was 5.6% among 522 patients with cancer who were offered the Pfizer–BioNTech (BNT162b2) vaccine at a French hospital, with a significant difference between women and men, at 9.6% and 2.6%, respectively.

“This difference did not seem to be because of a selection bias in our cohort,” say the researchers, noting that a previous study of a French general population cohort showed a similar difference between women and men with regard to vaccine hesitancy.

In terms of the reasons cited for refusing vaccination, “a fear of secondary effects, rather than a defiance of vaccination in general, appeared to be behind this refusal, together, in some cases, with a minimisation of the individual risk of the illness,” which is also in line with earlier research, they add.

Philippe Beuzeboc (Foch Hospital, Suresnes, France) and co-authors say that “[w]hatever the reasons, sex clearly appeared to be a discriminating factor in our study.”

And they conclude: “A pragmatic, global, bioethical reflection concerning these results is now required, particularly as the pandemic does not seem to be abating.”

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2021 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

6 August 2021: The coronavirus pandemic is affecting all healthcare professionals across the globe. Medicine Matters’ focus, in this difficult time, is the dissemination of the latest data to support you in your research and clinical practice, based on the scientific literature. We will update the information we provide on the site, as the data are published. However, please refer to your own professional and governmental guidelines for the latest guidance in your own country.

Eur J Cancer 2021; 155: 54–55

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