‘I Feel Good!’ Cancer Warrior Mr. T Receives Second Covid-19 Vaccine Booster

Published Apr 7, 2022

Sydney Schaefer

The Latest Covid-19 Vaccine Guidelines for Cancer Patients & Survivors

  • Laurence Tureaud, the actor and professional wrestler better known as “Mr. T,” recently received his second Covid-19 booster shot, just as all cancer survivors should do.
  • The CDC recommends that pre-teens, teenagers and adults who are considered “moderately or severely immunocompromised” should receive a total of four Covid vaccines to stay up to date.
  • People 18 years and older who are “moderately or severely” immunocompromised and received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine should receive a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine and an mRNA booster for a total of three shots.

Laurence Tureaud, the actor and professional wrestler better known as “Mr. T,” recently received his second Covid-19 booster shot, just as all cancer survivors should do.

“I just received my 2nd Moderna booster vaccine, and I feel good!” Mr. T, now 69, posted to Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. “I am still going to wear my mask and keep my distance because the virus ain’t over, Fool! Grrr.”

Mr. T, who’s from Chicago, Ill., was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma in the mid-90s when he was in his 40s, but more on that later.

SurvivorNet experts tell us that the best Covid vaccine for cancer patients is the “first one available to you,” however, they also say that cancer patients should get the vaccine when their oncologist has deemed it reasonable.

5 COVID-19 Vaccine Questions Answered by Expert Physician

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention states that immunocompromised people (i.e. cancer patients) are especially vulnerable to the virus. But, “you are protected best when you stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines as described below,” the CDC reports.

Here are the most recent Covid-19 vaccination guidelines for immunocompromised people that cancer patients should know about —

The Latest Covid-19 Vaccine Guidelines for Cancer Patients & Survivors

The CDC recommends that pre-teens, teenagers and adults who are considered “moderately or severely immunocompromised” should receive a total of four Covid vaccines to stay up to date. This applies to those who received the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. (Mr. T received the Moderna vaccine, however, it’s unclear if this is his third or fourth shot, as it was originally advised to only receive one booster for a total of three shots.)

The four doses include a “primary” series of three doses of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, plus one booster of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, according to the CDC. (It should be noted that only the Pfizer-BioNTech is available to children ages 12 to 17.)

People 18 years and older who are “moderately or severely” immunocompromised and received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine should receive a second dose of either mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) and an mRNA booster for a total of three shots.

Children ages 5 to 11, immunocompromised or not, can only receive the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine. For children in this age group who are considered “moderately or severely” immunocompromised, they should only receive a “primary” series of three doses. It’s not recommended by the CDC that children in this age group receive a booster shot at this time.

Cancer Patients & COVID-19 — When to Stay Home and When to Go in to Your Doctor

Dr. Nina Shah, a hematologist at the University of California San Francisco, previously told SurvivorNet it’s critical that cancer patients, especially those going through active treatment, get their Covid vaccine booster shots.

“It is very important (to get your booster shot), since we know some cancer patients do not mount a sufficient immune response after the first series of shots,” Dr. Shah said.

However, as always, it’s important to go over your medical history with your doctor before taking any medication or vaccine, including the Covid vaccine.

Mr. T’s Cancer Battle

It was in 1995, at just 43 years old, that Mr. T found the first telltale sign of T-cell lymphoma while removing one of his diamond earrings. According to the Lymphoma Research Society, T-cell lymphomas can develop in lymphoid tissues such as the lymph nodes and spleen, or outside of lymphoid tissues. Additionally, it should be noted that lymphomas are often, but not always, named from a description of the normal cell that leads to cancer.

He noticed a small spot on his ear that concerned him. While his first instinct was to ignore it, he had a biopsy two weeks later and received the news that he had cancer.

It seemed like treatment would be brief at first, since the cancer was isolated to his ear — five weeks of radiation and he would be finished. Unfortunately, less than a year later, the cancer came back.

Mr. T visits SiriusXM Studio in New York City on May 16, 2016. Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images

“Cancer sores are sprouting up on my body and I can’t stop it! I have no control over this cancer growing outside of my body on my arms, my back, my legs, and my stomach,” he told Coping magazine in 2000. “It is cancer popping like microwave popcorn on my body. I am afraid at this point.”

“No tough guy today,” Mr. T added.

For the next several years, he underwent chemotherapy, interferon therapy, low-dose chemotherapy and more radiation.

“I see why some cancer patients give up the struggle for life and quit,” he continued. “With my body, my mind, and my spirit shell-shocked like that, quitting seems easy … Chemo and cancer fight from my head to my toes.”

“We can be cancer survivors.”

While he had low moments, he never gave up his fight and relied on his strong faith. Today, more than two decades after his diagnosis, he’s healthy but still full of faith and gratitude. His Twitter feed is chock-full of uplifting, spiritual messages encouraging others battling cancer.

Contributing: Julie Ryan Evans

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