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Follow SOP if not vaccinated for safety of self and others: doctors

Critically ill people are advised to consult with doctors so that they may be administered vaccines at the earliest, and to ensure they adhere to all COVID-19 protection norms to prevent infections to themselves and others.   | Photo Credit: ASHOK R

Universal vaccination does not necessarily mean “all” as there are some critically ill people, including cancer patients, or organ transplant recipients, who are advised to stay away from COVID-19 vaccination. They are advised to consult with doctors so that they may be administered vaccines at the earliest, and to ensure they adhere to all COVID-19 protection norms to prevent infections to themselves and others.

Moreover, “Persons with severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine should avoid it,” said Dr. Archana Dhawan Bajaj, director, Nurture IVF clinic. She added that the number of patients with severe allergic and critical health conditions may not be very large, but they should act on medical advice and adopt preventive measures strictly.

Dr. Akshay Budhraja, pulmonologist, Aakash Healthcare, said that people having any active infection related to the lungs, gastrointestinal and urinary tracts, typhoid, dengue, etc., must avoid COVID-19 vaccination, or consult their doctor before taking it.

“Treat the active infection first and then get vaccinated at least two weeks after recovery from that infection. Other than this, if a person had any severe allergic reaction after a previous dose of the same vaccine, they must avoid getting vaccinated or consult their doctor. If someone has faced severe allergic reactions, your doctor can prescribe anti-allergic medicines before and after the COVID-19 vaccine dose,” he explained.

On travelling, he said, “The only option is to stay home if you have any active disease or you are sick, even if you have common cold. Avoid travelling till you have recovered and declared fit by your physician.”

Dr. Budhraja added that the risk of transmission is more in non-vaccinated people. “You have to follow social distancing and wearing a mask. There is no other way out,” he said.

A senior Health Ministry official said that the medical travel requirements of COVID-19 patients seeking treatment is decided on a case-to-case basis.

Efficacy and safety are the two main components of effective vaccination, and each approved vaccine has its levels of efficacy and safety, said Vikas Kothawade, consultant, radiation oncology, Jupiter Hospital, Pune. He said that cancer patients on chemotherapy are advised to take vaccination if they have normal white blood cells and in good general health condition.

“Cancer patients on radiation therapy or hormonal therapy can take vaccination on treatment. Patients who have undergone bone marrow transplants are advised to avoid vaccination for a minimum of three months. Moreover, patients who are having blood disorders like low platelet count, or if they are taking anticoagulants (blood thinners) or immunosuppressant drugs, they must act on medical advice for vaccination. People suffering from critical diseases should not take any decision on their own. It’s better they consult their doctors for appropriate action on vaccination,” explained Dr. Kothawade.

Also Read: ‘Give priority to cancer patients for vaccination’

Any underlying medical condition or comorbidity is not a contraindication for COVID-19 vaccination except in the less than 18 age group, said Dr. Colonel Vijay Dutta, senior consultant, Internal Medicine, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre.

Vaccination centres have safety protocols in place to provide quick solutions to any adverse reactions, but senior citizens, people suffering from severe diseases or those who have undergone surgery must be observed for 30 minutes after vaccination, said Sameer Bhati, public health expert and director, Star Imaging Path Labs.

Mubasheer Ali, senior internal medicine consultant, Apollo TeleHealth, explained that everyone should follow all the necessary precautions to avoid infection. Social distancing, personal and hand hygiene, avoiding closed or less ventilated spaces, avoiding crowded places, wearing masks at all public places, are all essential tools against the virus, he said.


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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 2:37:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/follow-sop-if-not-vaccinated-for-safety-of-self-and-others-doctors/article36680288.ece

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