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Ask the Expert: ‘With Caution, Vaccines Are Safe for People with Heart and Blood Disorders’ | India News

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Is it advisable to continue taking vitamin C and zinc tablets even after full recovery from Covid-19?
—CV PURUSHOTHAMAN, AHMEDABAD
No medicine should be taken long-term without consulting a doctor, not even vitamins. After recovering from Covid, the most important thing is a proper lifestyle and a good diet, not vitamins. Now there are theories that an excess of zinc could be one of the causes of mucormycosis. Therefore, there could be side effects even for vitamins if taken without supervision.
What does a high ‘ab iGg’ refer to on an antibody test? Is a person with high ab iGg eligible for vaccination? It is RT-PCR necessary?
—AKSHAY KUMAR, BENGALURU
By high ‘ab IGg’, I assume you are referring to a high level of antibodies. Even if you have high antibodies, you should get vaccinated. However, if you have acute symptoms of Covid, such as high fever, cough, etc., do not get vaccinated at that time. You can have an RT-PCR test to see if you have Covid. RT-PCR tests are not routinely required before vaccination.
I am waiting for my second dose of Covishield. Can I take Sputnik V instead?
—MAHESH, KOCHI
So far, no vaccine combinations have been approved. Studies are being done to see if it is safe to combine vaccines. But the results of these studies are not yet known. Starting today, you should not take a different vaccine; also stick to the same vaccine for the second injection.
What should be the normal range of CBC during Covid? Is a PCR test necessary for Covid?
—UMESH CHOKSHI, CHENNAI
There is nothing like a normal CBC (complete blood count) during Covid. The CBC is affected during any infection. CRP is performed as a marker of inflammation. It is up to the treating physician to prescribe the appropriate tests at the appropriate time and administer the medication. It is not a mandatory test to take on your own.
My father has polycythemia vera2 in addition to hyperthyroidism, so he is taking medication. Can you get vaccinated?
—PRANOY JEEVAN, BENGALURU
Polycythemia vera is a myeloproliferative disorder characterized by an increase in blood cells (myeloid cells). Patients most often present with a high hemoglobin or red blood cell count. They are at increased risk for blood clots, and when other blood parameters increase, they may also be at risk for bleeding.
Most patients with polycythemia vera are treated with a small dose of aspirin to prevent blood clotting. At present, we do not have large-scale data on the safety of the Covid vaccine in all hematological diseases. However, most guidelines allow patients with polycythemia vera to receive the vaccine. Patients with polycythemia vera are at increased risk of thrombosis and bleeding during a Covid infection. Therefore, it would be beneficial to take the Covid vaccine. There are no restrictions for thyroid disorders and Covid vaccination. Please ask your father to see his hematologist for an evaluation before receiving the vaccine.
Are Covid vaccines safe for people with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)?
—RAJIT D, AHMEDABAD
Yes, it is safe to get vaccinated. Heart patients are at increased risk of complications from Covid-19 infection, and the vaccine will reduce the chances of serious illnesses requiring hospitalization. However, in case you are taking a blood thinner, read my answer on blood thinners.
I am a 68 year old woman, diabetic and a BP patient. I am also taking blood thinners. Two months ago, I was diagnosed with herpes with severe pain in my left arm and now my little finger with numbness. I have been taking medication for the past two months. Can I get vaccinated?
—PRAGYA SHARMA, MUMBAI
Patients taking blood thinners can be vaccinated with certain precautions. There are two types of anticoagulants, antiplatelets and oral anticoagulants.
Those with antiplatelet agents such as aspirin, clopidogrel, ticagrelor, prasugrel, etc. they can take the vaccine with a fine needle (23 or 25 gauge) and apply firm pressure (without rubbing) to the site for at least two minutes.
Those taking oral anticoagulants, such as warfarin or azithrom, should consult their doctor. They need to undergo a blood test called INR and can receive the vaccine as long as their INR is below the upper level of the therapeutic range, taking the precautions mentioned for antiplatelets.
Answers from Dr S Chatterjee, Senior Consultant, Internal Medicine at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi, Dr Ian Pinto, Blood Specialist, Breach Candy Hospital, and Dr Ramakanta Panda, Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgeon, VC and MD of the Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai



Times of India

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