A study by King's College London suggests that more than half the number of cancer patients receiving a single dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine have been left with less protection against the virus, than people who do not not have cancer.

Awaiting independent review, the findings from the world’s first reported trial, examining the level of immune protection conferred to cancer sufferers after receiving the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine, have been published recenty.

According to the Cancer Research UK blog, Dr Sheeba Irshad, a senior clinical lecturer from the School of Cancer & Pharmaceutical Sciences said: "Our data provides the first real-world evidence of immune efficacy following one dose of the Pfizer vaccine in immunocompromised patient populations.

"We show that following first dose, most solid and haematological cancer patients remained immunologically unprotected up until at least five weeks following primary injection; but this poor one dose efficacy can be rescued with an early booster at day 21."

In response to the study, Martin Ledwick, head information nurse at Cancer Research UK, said: “This is an interesting study and it’s important to assess how cancer patients are responding to the vaccines being rolled out.

"But at this stage, we are looking at data that hasn’t been peer-reviewed, where other experts in the field would flag errors and limitations within the results.

“The numbers of patients looked at in the study are also relatively small, particularly for those with blood cancers.

"We know that this information could be worrying, but anyone undergoing cancer treatment should continue to follow the advice of their doctors, and we encourage all who can to take up the vaccine.”