Oncology experts at Fortis Hospitals are of the opinion that, based on data available from clinical trials, the two vaccines rolled out in India maybe give to cancer patients and effective in, both lowering their risk of contracting COVID-19 and preventing the severity of the disease if they get it.
Let us first understand what COVID-19 can do to cancer patients. COVID-19 is a highly contagious viral infection that can be lethal to those with weak immunity and serious underlying health conditions. Cancer patients have a compromised immune system which can make them vulnerable to the Coronavirus. Those undergoing cancer treatment such as chemo and radiation therapies have a weakened immunity system placing them at a higher risk of suffering from complications, hospitalization and even death if they are infected with COVID-19. Healthier people have a better chance at recovery from the disease than cancer patients.
While serious side effects were rare in those who took the vaccine, the common side effects reported are pain at the injected spot, fever and fatigue. Some others complained of redness and swelling at the injected site, muscle pain, joint pain, headache, chills, dry cough, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck or underarms.
Since cancer can cause the swelling of lymph nodes, oncologists at Fortis Hospital Mulund allay fears in cancer patients that this was not a sign of their cancer growing but only a possible side effect of the vaccine. The swelling will subside in a few weeks.
Even if the vaccine is found to have a few side effects and data is still insufficient in the efficacy of the vaccine in cancer patients, oncologists at Fortis Hospital Mulund share that the benefits of taking the vaccine and being able to better fight off COVID-19 far outweigh the risks. They should, however, continue to wear a mask, practice personal hygiene and physical distancing. As per current European and American guidelines, vaccination for COVID 19 is recommended for adult patients undergoing chemotherapy. The timing of the vaccine will depend upon the schedule of Chemotherapy. Fortis Hospital Mulund makes it comfortable and easy for cancer patients to undergo the vaccination in a safe environment.