At the 148th WHO Executive Board meeting, ESMO delivered an official statement related to the WHO Director General’s Report on WHO’s COVID-19 Response. ESMO’s statement commended WHO’s efforts addressing the global pandemic. It raised awareness of ESMO’s COVID-19 and Cancer Portal that provides information for oncology professionals as well as patients and the public. It also highlighted the recently published ESMO statements addressing issues and concerns on immunising patients with cancer against COVID-19, complemented by the ESMO Call to Action on COVID-19 vaccinations and patients with cancer: Vaccinate. Monitor. Educate., which is endorsed to date by over 40 cancer societies and patient organisations.
When speaking about the Call to Action, ESMO requested Member States to consider the following when developing their vaccination strategies:
- Vaccinate all cancer patients in line with the WHO principles aiming to reduce deaths and disease burden. Patients with active disease or receiving anticancer treatment deserve an additional priority in case of limitations only.
- Diligently collect and monitor data via suitable registries and studies.
- Educate and instil confidence among the public and patients in receiving the vaccines.
To watch the ESMO virtual event for the launch of the ESMO Call to Action, and to access the speaker presentations, please click here.