Cancer is a time-sensitive disease and an elevated risk of COVID-19 infection tends to be present in patients. The primary concern and problems are connected to patient safety. The dilemma is whether cancer patients should visit the hospital to continue their care, since they may be exposed to COVID infection from home. Cancer treatment can also impair their immunity and place them at higher risk of infection.
Cancer patients are also more vulnerable due to the immunological and psychosocial effects and continuing care of malignancies.
Cancer patients are immune-compromised due to their disease or the treatment they receive. Hence they are at a higher risk of developing severe covid or complications of covid-19. It is recommended that all cancer patients are directed to take the vaccine against covid infection. Even the patients who have had covid should receive covid vaccine at 3months or 90 days after the infection. The scheduling for vaccination is planned after 15 days of an oncological surgery, completion of radiation therapy and in consultation with the medical oncologist for patients receiving chemotherapy, said Dr. Tejinder Kataria, Chairperson Radiation oncology, Cancer Center, Medanta – The Medicity.
Dr. Kataria further added,vPersons who are allergic to polyethylene glycol (PEG) or polysorbate-80 allergy (used in certain chemotherapeutic drugs) should not receive covid-19 vaccine. The vaccines available in our country are safe and any one of them can be taken. The time between two vaccine schedules is recommended to be 84-90 days for best immunity. Antibody against covid -19 should not prevent a person from taking the second dose or first dose of vaccine after covid infection.
The expected side-effects after vaccination include mild headache, body aches or fever. The treating physician may prescribe some anti-inflammatory or antipyretic(anti-fever) medication, if required, she added.