TIRUCHY: Ever since the coronavirus started spreading, it was noticed that people with co-morbidities were gravely affected by the virus. Hence, when the COVID vaccination began, experts believed that people with co-morbidities must be prioritized for vaccination.
As the government plans to open up vaccination for senior citizens and those above 45 with co-morbidities from Monday, TNIE speaks to doctors about who should, and should not take the vaccine.
Heart patients, diabetic people, cancer patients, people with hypertension have been categorized as high risk for COVID-19.
Several cancer patients have doubts in their minds about whether they can take the vaccine or not.
Dr Kirushnakumar, Head-oncology, Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre, said that most cancer patients can take the vaccine.
“Cancer survivors who are disease free can take the vaccine. For patients who are undergoing treatment currently, those on radiotherapy can take the vaccine. Patients who are taking chemotherapy, should not take the vaccine immediately. Chemotherapy decreases immunity by causing a drop in white blood cells (WBCs). In such a situation, we don’t know if antibodies will develop. They should wait for four weeks after chemotherapy at least, and must consult their treating doctors,”
The National comprehensive cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines say that those with active cancer, who are yet to take treatment, can take the vaccine.
“Cancer is not a problem for the vaccine. In radiotherapy and medical oncology, there is no contraindication for taking the vaccine. People who have had a surgery need not take the vaccine immediately. They should wait for two weeks atleast. Those with hematological malignancies should wait for three months. If someone is under treatment, it’s better to consult their doctor,” said Dr Ratna Devi, Radiation Oncologist, Apollo Cancer Centre.
Most cardiac patients can take the vaccine, say doctors. Those who had heart attacks in the past need to be vaccinated.
“Heart patients, who are taking blood thinners can take the vaccine. This includes those on anti-platelet drugs as well as anti-coagulants. It’s better if they take covishield,” said Dr Senthilkumar Nallusamy, Chief Cardiologist, Rana Hospital, Tiruchy.
People who had heart attack in the past week should not take the vaccine immediately, advise doctors.
“Only patients who had a heart attack within the last week should not take the vaccine. They must wait for a while, and consult their doctor. Side effects of the vaccine are minuscule and I would advise everyone to take the vaccine,” said Dr Refai Showkathali, Senior Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Apollo Hospital.
Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Cholesterol
“Those with cholesterol, Blood pressure and diabetes can take the vaccine. Only people who have medication for monoclonal antibodies must avoid the vaccine. Anyone who had a fever or allergy should wait for 4-6 weeks before taking the vaccine,” Dr Selvamani, Senior Consultant, Cardiology, Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre.
Any patient with uncontrolled Blood pressure should avoid taking the vaccine.