Tamil Nadu

“Include all those with cancer diagnosis in last five years for vaccination”

In the next phase of COVID-19 vaccination drive commencing on Monday, the Union government must consider including all persons diagnosed with cancer in the last five years, even if they were presently not on treatment and irrespective of age limits, said Abdul Ghafur, coordinator, Chennai Declaration on Antimicrobial Resistance and consultant, infectious diseases, at Apollo Cancer Institute, here.

The present guidelines for those in the age group of 45 to 60 years include persons diagnosed with solid cancer on or after July 1, 2020 and those who are currently on any cancer therapy.

In an appeal to the Secretary of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Rajesh Bhushan and NITI Aayog member Vinod K. Paul, he said that a 20-year-old leukemia patient was at a much higher risk than a 60-year-old patient with diabetes and hypertension.

He cited the European Society of Medical Oncology’s guidelines that made similar recommendations for vaccinating all cancer patients on priority. He said that a recent meeting of senior oncologists and oncology infection specialists from across the country also recommended the same.

Moreover, he said that the vaccine uptake among healthcare workers and frontline staff was around 50 % and similar hesitancy could be expected from the public as well in the next phase. Hence, he argued that including all cancer patients would help in accelerating the national vaccination campaign.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 1:51:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/include-all-those-with-cancer-diagnosis-in-last-five-years-for-vaccination/article33957837.ece

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