Nearly five per cent of healthcare workers, who have registered themselves for the COVID-19 vaccination drive, do not fit the health parameters required to get vaccinated. According to the doctors who are deployed at the 10 vaccination centres, 10 people from each of the centres are sent back because of the complications that could arise from their medical health history. Officials said they are not in position to take any kind of risk at the moment. The centres have been instructed to check the medical history of the beneficiaries before vaccinating them.
When the Free Press Journal visited the vaccination centre at the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General (LTMG) Hospital, Sion, we learned that 54-year-old Dr Anil Kumar Gondale, assistant medical officer from Shatabdi Hospital, Govandi, was not allowed to take the vaccine as he is undergoing treatment for cancer at Tata Memorial Hospital (TMH). Dr Gondale was diagnosed with oesophagus cancer in 2018, following which he has been undergoing chemotherapy.
Dr Asha Lata, his wife, said that Gondale was supposed to take the COVID-19 vaccine on the first day of the vaccination drive (January 16). However, as he was undergoing chemotherapy, he could not visit the centre, so they came on Tuesday afternoon. However, the team of doctors refused to vaccinate him until his doctors gave him a green signal to take the shots.
“We came on Tuesday afternoon and doctors checked his medicines and his health parameters. But later, the hospital asked us to get a medical certificate from TMH to get him vaccinated to avoid any risk,” she said. Moreover, seven more beneficiaries were asked to leave the centre as they do not qualify the required parameters.
The Union Health Ministry has issued some vaccin- specific contraindications. This prohibits pregnant and lactating mothers, patients with a history of allergic reaction to injectable therapies and pharmacy products and people with clotting or coagulation disorders, amongst others, from taking the vaccine.
Meanwhile, doctors and health experts feel there is a need of awareness amongst the HCWs and general public regarding both the vaccines, due to which there is a low turn out of beneficiaries across the state. “Both the vaccines are made of different components. If anyone has any history of allergic reaction to any of the ingredients, they should inform the health officers stationed at the centres,” said Dr Gautam Bhansali, consultant physician at Bombay Hospital.
Who should avoid vaccines:
Patients with a medical history of severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) after any drug, vaccine or ingredients of the COVID-19 vaccines.
People with fever
Patients on blood thinner or suffer from any bleeding disorder
P who are on a medicine that affects their immune system
Pregnant and lactating mothers who breastfeed newborns
If anyone has received another COVID-19 vaccine