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COVID-19 vaccine: Dos and Don’ts for Cancer patients

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a serious impact on many people, including cancer patients, their families and caregivers. Currently, the biggest worry gripping them is whether getting vaccinated against this virus is safe or not, as they have a different level of resistance & disease-fighting power.

Dr. Anil Heroor, Head of Surgical Oncology, Fortis Hospital, Mulund & Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi shared with Indian Express, the dos and don’ts for Cancer patients before getting the jab. So, here’s what you need to know.

There are two elements to this discussion. One for Cancer survivors and the other for those undergoing cancer treatment. For Cancer survivors, it is best recommended that they take the vaccine as they are already on the path to recovery.

Patients who have undergone cancer surgery

Such patients should consult their doctors before getting vaccinated. One’s type of cancer and treatment determines the risk factors, benefits, timelines and what one should know before receiving the first dose.

Patients receiving chemotherapy

Patients undergoing treatments such as Chemotherapy and Radiation should go for Covid vaccination after taking a gap of 5-7 days from their last session. It is important to take the vaccine at a time when your white blood count (WBC) and blood platelets are not low. Therefore, a Complete Blood Count (CBC) needs to be done before getting vaccinated.

Patients with leukemia

It is recommended that patients with leukemia should delay vaccination until after the completion of chemotherapy treatments such as induction therapy which is given for acute leukemia. Also, they must consult their doctor before getting vaccinated.

Patients undergoing stem cell therapy

Patients who are within three months of an Autologous Stem Cell Transplant, Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant or CART Cell Therapy, should go for vaccination after consultation with their doctor. In addition, those with severe Graft versus Host Disease (GvHD) and those with low B-cell counts should discuss with their provider whether vaccination should be delayed.

Patients who have undergone breast cancer surgery

Vaccination is usually given on the left shoulder but if a person has undergone left breast removal, the vaccination should be taken on the right shoulder. If both breasts have been removed, then the vaccine shot should be either taken on the thigh or the hips.

Disclaimer: editorji does not provide medical advice. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained in this story are for informational purposes only. No material in this video is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have related to Covid-19.

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