A message going viral on WhatsApp claims that taking anaesthesia after the COVID-19 vaccine can be life-threatening. The message then goes on to narrate a story of a man who died after receiving local anaesthetics from a dentist two days ago and advices people to not take anaesthesia until four weeks after taking the vaccine.
However, doctors and scientists have dismissed the claim and said that vaccination should not be delayed for an urgent elective surgery.
The viral message starts with the words, "Vaccination Warning" written in bold fonts.
It goes on to say that "Anyone who has been vaccinated against coronavirus is prohibited from taking any type of anesthetic, even local anesthetics or dentist's anesthetics, because this poses a great danger to the life of the vaccinated person and is highly dangerous. There is a possibility of death.. Therefore, the vaccinated person must wait 4 weeks after the vaccination."
The claim was also shared on Facebook and Twitter and we also recieved the claim on our WhatsApp tipline.
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We checked the fact sheets provided by vaccine manufacturers and it didn't mention anything about not taking anaesthesia after the vaccination.
The Malaysian Society of Anaesthesiologists and College of Anaesthesiologists, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia, in a statement to the press said the claim was not true and termed it misleading.
"Allowing such misstatements to propagate may impact many vulnerable individuals awaiting anaesthesia for surgical procedures and their inclination for vaccination,” they said in their statement.
“Patients may present post-vaccination symptoms such as muscle pain or fever which may extend through the perioperative period. Deferment here is to ensure that the side-effects of the vaccine are not confused with other side-effects related to the operative procedure,” the statement added.
We spoke with Dr Debasish Swain, anaesthesiologist and ICU incharge at SCB Medical Hospital, Cuttack. He too termed the message as false and said that there is no such risk as mentioned in the viral post.
Dismissing the claim, Dr Samiran Panda, head of the epidemiology and communicable diseases division at ICMR, told India Today, “There is no scientific evidence to validate the unfounded misinformation involving COVID-19 vaccine and anaesthetics.”
A study published in the British Journal of Surgery also stressed on the importance of prioritising COVID-19 vaccination for patients undergoing elective surgery.
Evidently, the claim that using anaesthesia after COVID-19 vaccine is life-threatening is not true and is not backed by evidence.
(Disclaimer: As of 18 June 2021, during the publication of this article, there was no evidence to prove that using anaesthesia after taking the COVID-19 vaccine is dangerous.)
(This story has been published as a part of The Quint’s COVID-19 fact-check project targeting rural women.)
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