Cancer is an immunosuppressing condition. People suffering from cancer are often put on heavy doses of immunosuppressants, which can cause the body to have an ‘incomplete’ immuno response, or have very poor tolerance after the vaccine is injected into the body. The response may be severely compromised for those who have non-functioning or bad immunity.
According to IMA guidelines, those with active cancers, but yet to start treatment can safely take the vaccine, much like cancer survivors. The ones on chemotherapy should consider medical advice prior to the vaccination.
Dr Bharat Agarwal, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai suggests that chemo patients to schedule doses as per their cycles.
“Immunosuppressants are drugs that lower the body’s ability to reject or have an incomplete immune response. Those undergoing Chemotherapy should seek an appropriate window for vaccination between the Chemotherapy cycles. Ideally, we suggest a patient wait for 4 weeks post-chemotherapy for the jab.”
Similarly, people who have had surgery need not take the vaccine immediately. They should consider waiting for two weeks atleast.