How effective is Covid-19 vaccine to the cancer patients?

Posted by NANDHINI K.M on Tue, Mar 30, 2021  
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  • According to a new study, cancer patients are more likely to have a similar antibody response to Covid-19 infection compared to people without cancer.
  • Nevertheless, the type of cancer plays an important role in eliciting efficient immune actions. Whether it is from solid malignant growth or the haematological cancerous origin makes the difference in the strength of the immune response.
  • If the study is truly positive, more cancer patients get equal benefits from the covid-19 vaccines.


From the time of Covid-19 emergence, it has put many people in mild to severe morbidity, and in fact, it has been the recent cause of increased mortality around the world.


Although the Covid-19 infection rate is only slightly varying after active vaccination, according to Centre of Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) data, the immune response is significant to fight against the coronavirus.


In a recent study by the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, the percentage of re-occurrence of covid-19 infection from the already recovered patients ranges from 2.4 to 69.2 %. Despite various factors like age, sex, morbidity, false-positive tests have some amount of characteristic part in the study, the role of immunity still has a major portion to reduce the severity.


Previously, cancer patients being already immunocompromised were worried about the possibilities of the severity of the Covid-19 infection and the efficiency of the emerging vaccination.


However, “Our findings provide assurance that most people with cancer are able to mount an antibody response to the coronavirus that is similar to the general population. People with a history of cancer are likely as protected from reinfection as those without a history of disease and are likely to respond well to vaccines, according to our study,” says Astha Takkar, M.B.B.S., a Montefiore hematologic oncology fellow and first author of the paper, published in Albert Einstein College of Medicine.


How good immune defensive mechanism helps to fight against Covid-19 infection?


Covid-19 infection, being a serious health concern nowadays, the role of primary immunity plays a major role in controlling its severity. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 ( SARS-CoV-2 ) is virulent enough to cause absolute destruction to the vital organs, particularly when you have less immunity.


In the current situation, once you are infected, the better you can control the viral load in the body, the better could be your recovery rate. From a study, it has been found that the natural immunity of the body has been tremendously helping to reduce the viral load. By minimising the quantity of virus proliferation in the body, you are certainly helping out to control its virulence.


However, adequate antibody response may not be possible if you are less immune. How soon you take up the therapy after infection is crucial for developing good innate immunity. Among the various defensive cells, Interferons and macrophages have the biggest role in fighting against Covid-19.


Signs and symptoms of Covid-19 infection:


To take treatment at the right time, it is important to understand whether you are infected or not. Some signs and symptoms will probably help you to take action. It includes,


  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Fever or chills
  • Body pain
  • Myalgia or muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of tastes or smell
  • Nose block
  • Running nose
  • Headache


The intensity of symptoms ranges from mild to severe depending on your immune response. In case if you have,


  • Chest congestion
  • Severe breathing difficulty
  • Sudden confusion
  • Pale or bluish discolouration of the skin
  • Inability to wake than usual


You may have to take an emergency call. Despite Covid-19 infection, these factors are life-threatening and have to be addressed at the earliest to save the life.


Who are at risk of Covid-19 infection?


Any individual is at equal risk to get Covid-19 infection. However, those who are immunocompromised or those who have detrimental medical conditions like,


  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Lung disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver damage
  • Cancer
  • Elderly people

Are at higher risks to develop serious complications. The main cause for such a possibility is the lack of enough antibiotic response in these conditions.


Why cancer patients are a concern?


In general, the patient undergoing cancer therapy has a very less antibody response. They are prone to multiple infections, and in no ways Covid-19 is exceptional. As they have less immunity, there was a concern whether giving vaccination might be useful. Also, was it recommended to inject dead or live accentuated virus into someone who is already immunocompromised. Could they be able to produce enough antibodies, or whether giving vaccines would worsen their health condition was the concern.


However, the recent study has helped to resolve the anxiety. The study involving 261 patients having different cancers, including solid malignancy to blood cancer has found that the patients show almost similar antibody responses to that of the normal individual who receives the vaccine.


This finding has given a ray of hope to cancer patients. It signifies the importance of vaccination to the people suffering from cancer. Also, the study shows how crucial it is to prioritise them for the vaccine.


As already the cancer morbidity is dreadful, taking vaccine at the earliest will reasonably help to improve the immune system to fight against Covid-19 infection.


Role of vaccination for Covid-19 infection:


The vaccine helps to boosts the immune response of your body. Particularly by improving your innate immune system, you shall reduce the chances of infection severity by half or even lesser.


However, taking the vaccine will not guarantee that you don’t get Covid-19 infection ever after. The vaccine is only to reduce the severity of the infection. Following the proper precautionary measure will only protect you from getting infected.


Treatment options for Covid-19 infection:


There is no specific treatment for Covid-19 infection. Researchers are still in clinical trials to find out which therapy suits best for treating the condition. Different drugs from antiviral, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and immune boosters are in the line to find the actual effectiveness.


Preventive measures are the best way to stay away from the Covid-19 infection as all the treatment options available now are actually to treat your signs and symptoms.  


Precautionary steps to prevent Covid-19 infection:


Keeping ourselves free from infection as much as possible is the workable option we all have right now.


As the virus transmit mainly from the aerosols and respiratory droplets, it is crucial to wear a mask wherever you go.


Wash your hands whenever you touch your body fluids or an object.


Sanitise your place well, and keep your surroundings hygienic.


Maintain social distancing to minimise the spread of infection.


Avoid roaming outside unless it is really needed.


Isolate yourself from the rest of the people if you feel any symptoms of Covid-19 infection. This is one good favour you are doing to your loved ones.


Do warm saline gargle twice daily as it is a natural antiseptic. It helps to eliminate the virulent micro-organisms entering your body from the oral cavity.


Hydrate well. Naturally, enough water intake helps to wash-off the infection from the body.


Enrich your body with Vitamin D. From a recent study, it has been found that adequate Vitamin D in the body helps to prevent the mutation of the virus and its ability to bind with the receptor by enhancing the natural immune system and anti-inflammatory process.


Likewise, taking sufficient protective measures will only help to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 infection and its virulence rate.


To the bottom line:


The fear of immune suppression for cancer patients and its corresponding concern with the Covid-19 infection has come up to a halt. Cancer patients are equally benefitted from the vaccination to that of normal individuals. They show acceptable antibody response. However, taking precautions are mandatory to fight against coronavirus.













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