COVID 19: Vaccinate Surgery Patients on Priority to Cut Risks of Surgery

Dear All,

Times of India on March 25th brought out this write up on the need to Vaccinate all planning to undergo Elective Surgical Procedures and more so among patients over 70 Years of age. I am sure all who read times of India would have already read this and are aware of this.

As we are experiencing our second wave of Covid-19 and have now made vaccines available, it will make sense for surgeons to insist on vaccination for elective surgery patients. This will decrease morbidity and lead to safe surgery. This is important for low and middle-income countries where mitigation measures such as nasal swab screening and COVID-free surgical pathways are unlikely to be universally implemented.

An estimated 58,687 Covid-19 related deaths can be prevented globally if pre-operative vaccination is administered on patients one week prior to their elective surgery. This will reduce the 30-day morbidity and mortality, reveals an international study on surgery conducted by the University of Birmingham and funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

World’s largest-ever COVID surgical collaborative international team of researchers led by experts at Birmingham published its findings on Wednesday in BJS – the British Journal of Surgery and the European Journal of Surgery.

As per the study, between 0.6% and 1.6% patients develop COVID infection after elective surgery. This particularly applies to those over 70 and those undergoing surgery for cancer.

Based on the high risks surgical patients face, scientists have calculated that vaccination is more likely to prevent Covid-19 related deaths than vaccines given to general population. ‘This could be particularly

“Vaccination is also likely to decrease post-operative pulmonary complications,’ it states. ‘Restarting elective surgery is a global priority. Over 15,000 surgeons and anaesthetists from 116 countries contributed to this study, making it the largest ever scientific collaboration. Study was carried out with collaborative efforts of 56 hospitals of India and 1,667 hospitals of 116 countries including Australia, Brazil, China, India, UAE, the UK and USA. It is crucial that policy makers use the data we have collected. COVID vaccination should be prioritized for surgery patients ahead of general population,’ said co-lead author Dr Dmitri Nepogodiev from University of Birmingham.

For those Interested in Details of the study, the Article Published in British J Surgery is being attached.

Preop SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination for Safe Surgery: Data from Int Prospective Cohort study (PDF provided)

With warm regards,


These Informations were provided to me by Laxman Prabhu



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  • Dr. Roy Chally
    Dr. Roy Chally
    29 Mar 2021 11:28:24 AM

         To vaccinate patients waiting for elective surgery is a policy decision for the government as vaccines are not available in the open market. 

          With different strains of covid in the community how much safety this will provide is not clear. I saw one patient with reinfection in 2 weeks with covid after a negative RT PCR report after the first covid infection. Vaccination does not provide 100% safety from covid infection. 
            I feel that we should rely on a negative  RT PCR for covid and history no immediate contact with a covid patient for elective surgery. 

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