The Israeli Cancer Association is reminding cancer patients, who have weakened immune systems, not to neglect their health during the Gaza War. Prof Eitan Friedman, a member of the research committee of the Israel Cancer Association (ICA) appears in a short Hebrew-language video urging cancer patients to get vaccinated against influenza and the new Moderna Omicron variant booster against COVID-19.
Friedman, who is also director and founder of the Levy-Gertner Oncogenetics Unit at Sheba Medical Center, said: “I have a request for anyone who is currently suffering from cancer and receiving radiation, chemotherapy or other treatments or undergoing follow-up care to ensure that the disease doesn’t return. Don’t stop the treatments because of the war and the tension it has created. The terrible situation the country is in should not affect your need and ability to continue receiving the treatment. It’s up to you.”
In addition, “in light of the fact that your immune system is not as effective as healthy people, it is very, very important to also make sure to get the vaccines, both against the flu and against the Coronavirus. It saves lives. If you have a question or want more information, contact the ICA [at www.cancer.org.il or call 03-5719578]. Do not hesitate, and above all – take care of your health.”
ICA chairman Prof. Moshe Mittelman added that “the immune system of patients undergoing oncology treatments is more vulnerable to infectious diseases that can lead to complications, hospitalization, and even death. It has been scientifically proven that vaccinating a population is vital, so we recommend that cancer patients get vaccinated so that their bodies will start producing antibodies. In case of doubt, it is recommended to consult the attending physician.
The vaccines are available free at your public health fund. the vaccine can be obtained at all health insurance funds free of charge. On the day you get the shot, there may be slight local pain, swelling in the injection area, redness or fever, but these effects are expected to pass within a day. It should be noted that according to the Health Ministry, one can get both kinds of vaccines at the same time or at any time interval between the vaccinations