Hyderabad: Brain tumour patients undergoing chemotherapy should not delay taking Covid-19 vaccines as they are more vulnerable to the infection, say doctors.

Brain tumour patients, especially malignant brain tumour patients, can be grouped in the high-risk category, as chemotherapy compromise immune system, making them more susceptible to Covid.

On the occasion of World Brain Tumour Day, health experts recommend all such to opt for Covid-19 vaccination at the earliest, because of the vulnerabilities.

Covid-19 is a novel form in the large family of viruses called coronaviruses, and this illness causes flu-like symptoms, with the major complication arising from impacts to the respiratory system.

Individuals aged over 60 years, and those with chronic conditions and compromised immune systems are at a higher risk for contracting the virus as well as experiencing a more severe illness after infection.

"People, who are already suffering from certain pre-existing health conditions are likely to suffer more due to this novel coronavirus. Hence, it is important such individuals take vaccine shot as soon as possible to ensure their own safety," said Rajasekhara Reddy Konda, Consultant Neurosurgeon, Continental Hospitals.

According to Kalyan Bommakanti, Senior Consultant - Neuro & Spine Surgeon, Aware Gleneagles Global Hospital, Covid-19 vaccines have been tested on people with different chronic underlying conditions, those who are at extremely high risk from coronavirus compared with the general population. "Though it has not been specifically tested on large number of brain tumour patients; cancer patients in general are strongly advised to opt-in to take vaccine shots. The vaccine will offer safety against the Covid-19 virus creating havoc to the human immune system and make people vulnerable," he said.

Raghavendra H, Consultant Neuro & Spine Surgeon, SLG Hospitals is of the view that human immune system needs to be working at some level to respond to ailments or act against viruses; and these vaccine shots provide that much needed protection. "These vaccine shots can be given to people undergoing radiotherapy, immunotherapy as well as hormonal therapies. However, it is important such patients seeks right medical advice from their treating doctor on the best time to get the vaccine shot. This is because there may be points during the treatment when the vaccine is likely to be most effective than other times; and that can be best advised by the doctor treating the individual patient."