prof. Dr. Serhat Ünal: Cancer patients should definitely be vaccinated against flu and pneumonia
Flu and pneumonia vaccine warning for cancer patients! Saying that there are around 35 million adults in Turkey who need to be vaccinated against pneumonia, Hacettepe University Vaccine Institute Director Prof. Dr. Serhat Ünal, especially cancer patients, must have flu and pneumonia He warned that he should be vaccinated. Medical Academy Ankara Representative Hatice PALA KAYAAnswering the questions of Prof. Dr. Ünal said, “Because cancer patients have impaired immune systems due to both their diseases and the treatment they receive. flu It is transmitted more frequently and may have a more severe course. Therefore, vaccination should be given.
Cancer patients have low immune responses Reminding that the effectiveness of all kinds of vaccines may not be at the desired level, Prof. Dr. Unal said, “Despite this, it is essential that oncology patients receive both the pneumonia vaccine and the flu vaccine. pneumonia vaccine It should be done in the early period, preferably before the treatment is started, as soon as the diagnosis is made. It is appropriate to be vaccinated between the 2 treatment courses of the primary disease. However, this situation should be evaluated together with the physician following the patient and the vaccine should be administered at the appropriate time.
Relatives of patients should also be vaccinated
Stating that he considers it important in some cases to vaccinate the relatives of the patients, Prof. Dr. Serhat Unal, for example; Emphasizing that the risk would be very high if someone at an advanced age with left heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease could not be vaccinated, he said, “Then it would be useful to vaccinate that person around him. Example; It can be said that a 28-year-old young person who is a relative of the patient may not be vaccinated or not, but vaccination is one of the methods used so that this patient does not infect the patient.
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Discussions about the flu vaccine
Stating that the discussions on the effectiveness of the flu vaccine are out of the world’s agenda, Prof. Dr. Ünal stated that the analyzes made in terms of reducing total deaths and hospitalizations resulted in positive results. prof. Dr. Ünal gave the following information: “The effectiveness of the flu vaccine is high, and the world does not discuss this anymore. We will recommend that people with indications be vaccinated to protect themselves from the flu when the season comes. Science suggests this. We are not discussing the effectiveness of the vaccine, we are discussing how to ensure the spread of the vaccine.
Advice can be given to prevent the flu, such as regular sleep, healthy eating and sports, avoiding people with respiratory tract infections, using a mask when necessary, paying attention to hand and general cleaning, and it is very important to get vaccinated.
prof. Dr. Unal stated that they especially recommend vaccines to some individuals and listed them as follows: “Those over 65 years old, those under 65 years old with underlying disease, diabetes, left heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic liver disease, kidney failure, cancer patients, HIV patients, pregnant women who have been added to these in recent years, and people with exogenous obesity should definitely get the flu vaccine.”
prof. Dr. Serhat Ünal: Adult vaccination rates are still very low in Turkey
“I am in favor of making the vaccine necessary and compulsory for public health”
Answering a question about avoiding the vaccine that has recently emerged in Turkey, Prof. Dr. Ünal reminded that the parents are in a decision-making position regarding the vaccination of children. Pointing out that it is important to vaccinate as much as possible in terms of total protection, Prof. Dr. Ünal said, “In order for the vaccine to have total protection, it is necessary to vaccinate as high as possible. First, there is the benefit of society. Secondly, we do not want to lose children or patients from measles, tetanus, diphtheria in 2018. That’s why I’m in favor of making the vaccine mandatory, but this will of course enter into a way within the social agreement,” he said.
We haven’t come a long way in adult vaccination.
“We have not come a long way in adult vaccination,” said Prof. Dr. Ünal talked about the developments in pneumonia, influenza and hepatitis B vaccines that come to mind first in the vaccination of adults. He reminded that there are two types of vaccines for pneumonia and that the Ministry of Health recommends the pneumonia vaccine to family physicians for risk groups.
Stating that awareness-raising activities have been carried out as associations, especially the Turkish Internal Medicine Specialization Association, Prof. Dr. Serhat Ünal said, “There is a stir in the numbers, but it is never in the desired places. Let me tell you the ratio: In the USA, the vaccination rate of the entire population is 42 percent, and 63-64 percent over the age of 65. When we look at our entire population, assuming that the entire number of flu vaccines arriving in Turkey is made in a year without doing any research, and dividing by those with indications in the community, the maximum vaccine is around 2.5 million doses.
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There are at least 34-35 million adults who need to be vaccinated, unfortunately we cannot go above 4-5 percent yet. I don’t know yet the figures after the new recommendations of the Ministry of Health for the pneumonia vaccine, I think it has increased, but our rate before that is 1 percent; The rate of vaccination against pneumonia in adults in our country. However, there are 34-35 million people in Turkey who need to be vaccinated against pneumonia,” he said.
prof. Dr. Serhat Ünal stated that the attitude of physicians on vaccination is very important and reminded that childhood vaccination is known by all physicians with all its aspects, but adult vaccination is a matter of 15-20 years.