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Introduction: Patients on immunosuppressive therapies are generally considered at high risk for acquiring certain common infections.
Objectives: To determine the extent of awareness among the patients and the healthcare workers of the importance of preventive immunization and the effect and outcome of such immunization in patients on immunosuppressive therapies suffering from both autoimmune rheumatic inflammatory diseases and oncological diseases.
Materials and methods: This Cross-Sectional Study was conducted in both the indoor and outpatient departments of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences Islamabad. The study was conducted between March 2020 and December 2020. The data was collected through non probability consecutive sampling technique.
Results: The data was collected from 300 patients. Mean age of the participants was 39.69± 15.86 years. The results shows that 66 (34.9%) patients suffering from rheumatic disorders and 66 (58.92%) patients suffering from oncological disorders were aware of the importance of preventive immunization due to their immunosuppressed condition. The awareness for the need for vaccination was mostly conveyed to the patients by the health workers. This awareness was however different in case of COVID-19, which the patients already new from their own knowledge from the public awareness campaign by the media. All the aware patients got vaccinated whereas the unaware patients remained without vaccination. In case of Covid-19 where 73.6% (220) who got the vaccination only 4.1% (9) got infected (p-value <.001). Whereas in case of under diseases evaluated, namely Hepatitis B, Herpes Zoster, Pneumococcus, Influenza, where on an average, 51.67% (156) patients were vaccinated. Here only 7.6% (11) caught the infection as opposed to 38 (34.9%) who caught it out of the remaining 48|% (144) who were not vaccinated (p-value <.001). The results show that In case of Covid-19 where 73.6% (220) who got the vaccination only 4.1% (9) got infected (p-value <.001). Whereas in case of under diseases evaluated, where on an average, 51.67% (156) patients were vaccinated. Here only 7.6% (11) caught the infection as opposed to 38 (34.9%) who caught it out of the remaining 48|% (144) who were not vaccinated (p-value <.001).
Conclusion: Prior knowledge of the importance, and implementation of practice of vaccination against common infections in immune-compromised individuals show a satisfactory outcome. Vaccination are safe and reduces the possibility of acquiring these potential infections. Steps need to be taken to increase the awareness of the importance of vaccinations both in the patients and healthcare workers. The concerned authorities need to ensure the availability of these vaccines in the market and on prices which are affordable.
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