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‘Jab safe for patients on blood-thinners’

LUCKNOW: If you are on blood-thinners and unsure about taking vaccine shot against Covid-19, here is some good news for you.

The new guidelines of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) have paved way for inoculation of patients who are on blood-thinners like aspirin and clopidogrel.
Blood-thinners are generally given to patients who have suffered a stroke, undergone some heart surgery, have coronary heart disease and other heart-related conditions.
Data has shown that people in the age group of 45-59 years, who have comorbid conditions, are grappling with confusion over the issue due to which not many are coming forward for vaccination.
Initially, both Serum Institute of India (SII) as well as Bharat Biotech (BB) had categorically mentioned that those suffering from bleeding disorder or people who are blood-thinner should avoid vaccination.
However, earlier this year, ICMR altered the fact sheet for both Covishield (SII) and Covaxin (BB) and said those on blood-thinners could also opt for vaccine.
As per the revised fact-sheet, those on blood-thinners like as aspirin and clopidogrel can take vaccine and those on anticoagulants can also take the jabs but with certain precautions.
Experts at KGMU and SGPGI told TOI that with revised guidelines, the formerly ineligible group can now go ahead with Covid-19 vaccination without much of a worry.
“Blood-thinners are of two kinds and both prevent blood clotting. The first is anti-platelets such as aspirin and clopidogrel which are not a problem at all,” ICMR director general Dr Balram Bhargava said.
“The second kind comprises of anticoagulants like heparin for patients whose tendency to bleed is much higher. They face risk of developing swelling at the injection site which is but a relative contraindication. In this case, anticoagulants can be stopped a couple of days prior to vaccination after medical advice,” he added.
Head of microbiology department at SGPGI Prof Ujjala Ghoshal said, “Those on blood thinners can take vaccine as no serious contraindications have been recorded in such patients. Patients should, however, seek the advice of their physician prior to vaccination.”
Head of KGMU’s microbiology department Prof Amita Jain said, “Not much is known about the vaccine’s reaction in patients with blood clotting disorders. I would advise them to wait for more data to come in. Although, if majority of other people get vaccinated, we will contain the virus from spreading to such patients too.”
“Since Covid-19 vaccines being used in India are not live virus based vaccines, there are negligible risks involved. Expert advice for individuals suffering from these diseases should also be taken prior to vaccination,” she added.

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