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Can You Get the Covid-19 Vaccine If You Have Cancer?

Posted on 07/25/2022 by CMRI


Overview

Many cancer patients ask if it is safe to receive one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines. After all, we know that having an underlying medical condition, such as cancer or heart disease, increases your chances of developing illness from the virus. Many cancer patients and caregivers are concerned about future vaccines designed to fight against COVID 19 infection.

As suggested by our expert oncologists in Kolkata, immunization against COVID-19 is advised for most adults with cancer or a history of cancer, but there are some factors that people with cancer should consider first.

Is there an increased chance of getting COVID if I have cancer?

If you have cancer, you are more likely to have severe COVID-19. Other risk factors for severe COVID-19 include having a reduced immune system (being immunocompromised), being older, and having other medical disorders like diabetes and high blood pressure.

People with blood malignancies may be more susceptible to COVID-19 infection and death than people with solid tumors. This is due to the fact that individuals with blood malignancies frequently have aberrant or decreased numbers of immune cells, which create antibodies against viruses.

Also Read:- Laryngeal Cancer – An Overview

Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine if I have had cancer in the past?

Yes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over the age of six months gets vaccinated. Most people with underlying medical issues, including cancer, fall into this category too.

Will the vaccine be effective for cancer patients?

As per various studies, COVID-19 vaccination is effective only in healthy adults, excluding cancer patients, those receiving chemotherapy, and people with weakened immune systems.

Vaccines also require a functioning immune system to develop immunity, and chemotherapy suppresses the immune system, making an appropriate response difficult to detect. As a result, it is unclear whether these vaccines are similarly effective in cancer patients or not.

Is the COVID vaccine safe for cancer patients?

In general, every cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy or immunotherapy is advised to avoid any vaccine or to consult with their medical oncologist before administering any vaccine. The same is true with the COVID-19 vaccination. You should consult your treating doctor before receiving any vaccinations, including the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available.

Both vaccinations available in India have only been studied in healthy adults and have been deemed safe by the DGCI based on the study data. 

Also Read:- Know about Targeted Therapy for Cancer

Things you should consider even after getting COVID vaccination:

As suggested by our expert medical oncologist in Kolkata, the following instructions should be followed in order to avoid exposure to infection, even if you’re vaccinated.

  • Watch out for symptoms: Keep an eye out for signs of illness, such as loss of taste or smell, fever, weariness, coughing, or diarrhea. Keep surgical scars, scrapes, and wounds clean, and keep an eye out for any swelling or erythema. Let your doctor know if you experience any of these signs.
  • Maintain good hygiene: Hands should be washed frequently with warm water and soap. Keep your home tidy.
  • Stay away from large crowds: If you are in a confined space with other individuals, use a mask. Also, avoid people you suspect are unwell.
  • Stay hydrated and eat healthily: Follow the dietary recommendations of your care team. Share no food, drink cups, or utensils with others. Consume no raw or undercooked meals. Do not consume pasteurized juice or dairy products.

Consult our best oncology doctor in Kolkata if you or someone you know has a history of cancer and is still unsure whether to get the booster shots or not. They will address all your queries and will guide you accordingly.