COVID-19 and cancer patients
As per the CDC and available research data, people of any age with Cancer are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. As per published data, the infection rate infection rate of COVID-1 in patients with cancer was (0.79%) twice the cumulative incidence (0.35%) of all diagnosed COVID-19 cases. Delivering optimal care to both newly diagnosed cancer patients and those under active cancer treatment is critical to reduce mortality from cancer, improve quality of outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Higher risk groups, such as those with cancer, are likely to be prioritized once a vaccine is made available.
We are seeing the scientific community unite on the mission to develop a vaccine for Covid-19. OncoPower is tracking this progress of COVID-19 vaccine development closely. Currently there are four vaccine candidates in phase III trials. There is an expectation that at least one of them may get approved by the end of year. The United States government has contracted with vaccine manufacturer to produce in advance some quantity of whichever vaccine(s) become approved.
However, vaccine manufacturing and distribution is complex. The Federal government has constituted Operation Warp Speed (OWS) project comprising HHS, CDC. DOD, and FDA and private partners like McKesson to meet the challenge of vaccinating 330 Million Americans. As per Dr. Moncef Slaoui, Chief Adviser, OWS, only 30 million doses may be available initially. So, the vaccination may need to be prioritized among healthcare workers, emergency and first responders, national security personnel and about 100m Americans with underlying health conditions, etc. until production ramps up.
Your safety and wellness is our mission. We are here to support you through this by providing top quality resources, evidence-based information, and a community that is going through the same thing to lean on.
OncoPower is working directly with the federal government’s Operation Warp Speed (OWS) to help safely identify a priority pool of cancer patients and survivors (Priority OncPool) for the early months until a vaccine becomes widely available.
How It Works?
What is Covid-19?
Covid-19 is a novel coronavirus strain that began circulating in late 2019 and led to a global pandemic in 2020. Early on it was perceived to be a respiratory virus however a wide range of systems can be impacted from this virus which up-regulates inflammatory pathways in the body and can impact individuals differently.
Why is a vaccine important?
Vaccines are incredibly important to our health as they help expose our body to a very small amount of a disease so that our immune system learns how to fight it. Since humans had never seen this strain of virus before, it has wreaked havoc on our health and society. Dozens of the top pharmaceutical companies in the world are working hard to identify and commercialize a vaccine. We are seeing unprecedented collaboration in science in response to this pandemic.
Who will get the vaccine once it is available?
The federal government has purchased millions of doses of various vaccines under development. Order of priority is still being figured out at the top levels of our government. It is likely that healthcare workers on the front lines treating these patients and high risk individuals (such as immunocompromised persons) will be prioritized. Operation Warp Speed is working with many public health institutions to help identify the best strategy.
Who is OncoPower working with?
OncoPower has submitted a proposal to Operation Warp Speed (OWS) for partnership. Operation Warp Speed is the entity within the federal government that is bringing together resources from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Department of Health and Human Services (CHHS), and experts from the private sector such as researchers, scientists, pharmaceutical company executives, etc. to collectively work on bringing forward a vaccine and plan for battling Covid-19 within the United States.
OncoPower’s proposal leverages our community of resources to focus in on one priority group – cancer patients and survivors – to help identify those that would benefit the most in an orderly fashion and save preventable deaths. This Priority OncPool is an individual’s petition to OWS to be prioritized among the early months of vaccine commercialization when the availability is not widespread. We may ask for recommendations from patients’ treating oncologists when they are not registered in OncoPower.
Does joining the Priority OncPool guarantee me that I will receive the vaccine?
No, OncoPower’s Priority OncPool streamlines the collection of consistent information and provides the federal government information on a high-risk pool of individuals. OncoPower is advocating on behalf of this high-risk group for early doses and is well regarded for their work within this community. Ultimately, the first 100 million doses that have already been purchased by the federal government will be provisioned per their decision making. The Priority OncPool helps simplify a distribution plan within our oncology community.
Who would have access to my information?
As with everything in OncoPower, we follow the highest security standards and all HIPAA guidance to secure your protected health information. Your name and any required medical information will not be passed on to any commercial entities, only to the CDC-DHHS partnership through OWS.
How is my physician involved?
OncoPower verifies health record information, medical treatment plan, and veracity of the patient’s medical response to treatment with the treating physician. This happens on a routine basis and helps ensure that we prevent any ‘bad actors’ from joining our community. Your desire to join the Priority OncPool is ultimately your decision, however we encourage that you discuss this with your treating physician and understand all benefits and risks. OncoPower can help facilitate this conversation.
Will I go to my treating physician to receive the vaccine?
Not necessarily. At this time the distribution plan is unclear. However, one of the benefits of joining the Priority OncPool is the ability for OncoPower to streamline logistics across regions and identify the leanest path for distribution. This means that you may go to a more centralized location within your region to receive the vaccine. These types of details won’t be known until we are closer to distribution and commercialization.
Can I also get my family onto a priority list since they live with me?
At this time, the singular focus is on the oncology community. OncoPower may begin collecting this information for secondary and tertiary pools of individuals for provision to OWS.