The UK Royal Surgical Colleges have published a statement for surgeons and surgical teams managing vaccinated patients.
The UK Surgical Royal Colleges have been advised the following :
- the vaccine may give some systemic events, such as a fever and chills, within 1-2 days after vaccination, but these resolve soon after. It is reported normally to settle fully within a week.
- such a fever is uncommon after dose 1, but occurs in about 15% after dose 2. A more detailed description of local and systemic side effects following vaccination are detailed in the NEJM reference attached.
- essential urgent surgery should take place, irrespective of vaccination status.
- non-urgent elective surgery can also take place soon after vaccination. There is some rationale for separating the date of surgery from vaccination by a few days (at most 1 week) so that any symptoms such as fever might be correctly attributed to the consequences of either vaccination or the operation itself.
- at present, there is no policy established for prioritising patients scheduled for elective procedures to be vaccinated before the planned operation date. However, if the vaccine is available for this cohort of patients, then this would not be a reason for it to be withheld.
Guidance for patients undergoing operations who have received the vaccine can also be found in the statement.