Vaccine advice issued for those with chronic illnesses

Covishield is India’s name for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine (Photo courtesy EPA)
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Residents with known allergies to vaccines – or a chronic illness – are being advised to reveal that information to health care professionals before getting a Covid jab.

Head of the Paediatric Unit at the hospital, Dr Shivon Belle-Jarvis, issued the advice while reassuring the public that shots are likely to be safe as long as the person’s condition is not severe.

“For persons who have severe allergies, then we know that the risk of an allergic reaction may be higher for persons who are pregnant. Based on the studies done thus far, pregnant volunteers were not included and therefore we cannot comment on the safety and efficacy in pregnancy, likewise during lactation. 

“However we do, again, recommend a one-on-one discussion with your physician if you’re pregnant, or if you’re breastfeeding because, again, it is thought that if you fall within a very high risk group, then the benefits of getting the vaccine likely outweigh the risks,” she said.

Her comments come amid concerns worldwide that people without a strong immune system – such as those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or lupus – could be left behind in the race to vaccinate against Covid-19. 

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